Woodstock fire vehicle overturns on icy road

A Woodstock Fire Department vehicle slid off the road and landed on its roof while responding to a call during Saturday morning’s icy weather.

Authorities blamed roadway ice for causing the vehicle’s driver to lose control during the crash a mile or two outside of Woodstock on Fairview Road.

The vehicle was dispatched to help an EMS crew that was responding to reports of someone injured on Fairview Road.

Sgt. Zach Hottel, of Woodstock Fire and Rescue, described how the crash unfolded.

“They were responding to an incident on Fairview, and the crash happened maybe a mile or two outside of Woodstock on Fairview Road,” he said. “We had four personnel that were going to assist the rescue squad that was having difficulty getting to an individual because of the icy conditions. … It was on a bank turn and they basically just slid off the road. It wasn’t even what you might consider a fast-moving crash. When they slid off the road, it went down in the bank and turned over.”

Hottel said the vehicle is “basically a pickup truck with compartment space and things for setting up command for emergency incidents and when we have to assist emergency medical service (personnel). It’s a quick response vehicle so you don’t have to take the fire truck every time.”

The vhicle was running with a four-man crew at the time of the rollover, Hottel explained. The four were taken to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital for evaluation as a precaution, and all were released. Hottel said the team was composed of all fire personnel.

Hottel said that the process of investigating the incident is same as for a normal car crash, except the fire department will conduct its own investigation as well.

“The State Police, like any other motor vehicle crash, they are investigating it,” he said. “And we do an internal investigation that will determine if there was anything we could have done to improve ,and we’ll file it with our insurance. There’s a lot of paper work but not much more than if you wreck your car.”

After the determination of the department’s insurance adjuster, a decision will be made to either replace the vehicle if it’s totaled or repair it if feasible. Hottel said that while the vehicle is off the road, a department fire engine will be responding to incidents in its place. He said that there is “significant damage” to the vehicle’s roof.

Hottel said that this is a particularly bad crash as far as service vehicles are concerned.

“There have been minor incidents with fire and rescue vehicles in the county when you have snowstorms,” he said. “This was the first time with us where it’s this major of an accident. It’s really the first time where we’ve had a complete crash where we’ve turned something over or something like that has happened.”

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com