Accident in Newport involving rescue vehicle

A rescue vehicle collided head-on with a truck causing injuries to the operator of the truck and his passenger.

Newport Rescue had been dispatched to a restaurant on Route 2, Angler’s Restaurant. As the vehicle approached the Ridge Road intersection, a vehicle reportedly slowed causing a truck behind it operated by Chistopher Hajek to swerve into the path of the rescue vehicle.

Hajek suffered leg injuries and was transported to Sebasticook Valley Hospital, then was moved to Eastern Maine Medical Center.

The matter is under investigation. Our firm has investigated similar accidents involving rescue vehicles. It will be necessary to determine whether the operator of the vehicle that was in front of Hajek’s truck acted reasonably in responding to the approaching rescue vehicle. It will also be necessary to determine whether Hajek was operating his vehicle at a safe and proper distance from the vehicle in front of him and was traveling within the speed limit.

While rescue vehicles are permitted to enter intersections and override traditional rules of the road and traffic signals under certain limited circumstances, they must do so safely and must not place other drivers at risk of harm. The need to respond to an emergency in a timely way does not justify causing yet another emergency situation and harm to the public. Generally rescue operators receive training about how to properly enter intersections where other vehicles have the right-of-way. An investigation into this matter will undoubtedly examine whether the rescue operators received appropriate training.