Damaged fire truck will be replaced, chief says

Larry Limpf

A Lake Township fire truck involved in a fatal Dec. 14 accident on State Rt. 795 was damaged beyond repair and will have to be replaced, fire chief Bruce Moritz reported Tuesday to the township trustees.
Chief Moritz informed the trustees the accident remains under investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol and he has already had a discussion with the township insurance company, which determined the vehicle was a total loss.
He praised the efforts of the fire department personnel in the truck who had to batter “their way out of the truck” and immediately provided assistance to injured people in two other vehicles.
“They never requested assistance until everybody was taken care of,” Moritz said. “They were all working on adrenalin.”
According to the highway patrol, the crash occurred about 11:51 p.m. on Rt. 795 near Pemberville Road.
The fire truck, a pumper/rescue engine, was westbound on Rt. 795 en route to a fire when it collided with an eastbound vehicle driven by Jacob Hazel, 23, Elmore, that had crossed the centerline after hitting a vehicle from behind that had stopped for the fire pumper.
Hazel died from his injuries days after the accident at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center. His wife, Christina David, 24, also suffered life-threatening injuries and was transported to Mercy St. Vincent.
Two of the four occupants in the other vehicle were taken to Mercy St. Vincent with non-life threatening injuries and two were taken to another hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Alcohol appears to be a factor in the crash and safety belts were in use, the highway patrol said.
Chief Moritz said firefighters were reporting sore muscles but were back on the job Monday. He said a reserve truck has been put into service until the damaged vehicle is replaced. The damaged vehicle was a 2007 model and cost about $448,000.
Lake Township police, Northwood Fire and Rescue Department and the Allen-Clay Joint Fire District assisted at the scene.
A gofundme page has been established in Hazel’s memory to help defray expenses. According to the page, he had recently re-enlisted in the Navy and was an organ donor.


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