Posted on Feb 21, 2011
A crash between a fire truck and a Grand Prix could have been deadly for the 21-year-old driver of the car and her 3-year-old daughter.  On Tuesday, Jeff Smith, a 21-year veteran of the Kansas City Fire Department was driving a pumper truck to an emergency when he came face-to-face with a Grand Prix heading straight for the pumper truck.  The pumper truck driver made a quick right turn to dodge the oncoming vehicle, causing the impact to be at an angle, rather than head-on.  The collision sent the fire truck over a utility pole where it came to rest against a tree with utility wires falling onto the truck. 

Smith was trapped in the fire truck, and according to witnesses was talking to emergency crew personnel as they began the extraction process.  According to Kansas City Police Sgt. Bill Mahoney, the quick response of Smith likely saved the lives of the mother and her daughter in the other vehicle.  The daughter, who was in the back seat of the Grand Prix, was buckled, but was not in a child safety seat.  Unfortunately, Smith's heroics in saving the lives of others cost him his lower left leg, which had to be amputated. 

The woman driving the Grand Prix apparently tried to go around a line of stopped cars that were yielding to the fire truck which put her vehicle in the direct path of the pumper.  She was arrested and kept in jail overnight before she was released pending further investigation of the collision.

Mahoney believes the huge difference in size and weight of the two vehicles would have been deadly for the driver of the Grand Prix and her daughter if this had been a head-on crash. 

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James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.