The video released Friday morning is from city traffic cameras. It shows the pumper’s lights were on when it ran a red light and hit the SUV on Dec. 15, 2021.
The crash near Broadway Avenue and Westport Road killed 41-year-old Jennifer San Nicolas, and 25-year-old Michael J. Elwood. Both were in the SUV when it collided with the firetruck.
“In many respects, the civil justice system is incapable of giving them what they really need, which is to turn back the clock,” Elwood’s family attorney Tim Dollar said when asked how Elwood’s family’s doing now. “But if you can’t turn back the clock, then it is important for accountability and to be able to create a legacy that at least we hold people accountable, and you insisted that there be better training, better supervision, better enforcement of standards.”
A pedestrian, identified as 41-year-old Tami N. Knight, was also killed.
The firetruck was responding to a possible weather-related fire when the department said it was called off and another firetruck was dispatched.
But with lights and sirens on, the firetruck continued north on Broadway Avenue and through the intersection. The crash happened about a minute later.
A wrongful death lawsuit from the victim’s families points out the fire truck had been told to stand down from a call and to remain in quarters, but instead continued responding to the fire.
The lawsuit alleges negligence on the part of the firetruck’s driver, and on the part of the department for failing to properly train the driver. Dollar said the driver of the truck, Dominic Biscari, who was 21 at the time, violated a standard of care he was supposed to have while driving that truck.
“Whether you are lights and sirens or not, you have an obligation to yield the right of way in the intersection,” Dollar said Friday. “Basically, the lights and sirens is a request to other motorists to yield to you.”
Dollar said he sees cases like this often.
“It’s sad for everybody involved,” he continued. “I’ve never met this driver, but I don’t I don’t doubt he’s suffering from the result of this crash right? Just like everybody associated with these families.”
A trial date for the civil lawsuit has been set for June 5, 2023.
Police also submitted a report on the crash to the prosecutor’s office in February.
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