IOWA COUNTY, Wis. — Two firefighters with the Mineral Point Fire Department tragically died Jan. 6 in a crash involving a semi-truck and a fire truck on Highway 151.
Officials with the Iowa County Sheriff’s Office said the semi-truck struck the northbound fire truck as it attempted to turn into an emergency crossover at about 12:30 a.m.
The fire truck caught fire, and both Mineral Point firefighters were killed. The driver of the semi did not suffer injuries in the accident.
Names of the victims and the driver of the semi have not been released
Commentary on the fatal accident taking lives of two Mineral Point firefighters
I am deeply saddened to learn this accident caused the death of two Mineral Point Firefighters. Undoubtedly, this loss is felt by these beloved firefighters’ families, friends, and communities. I extend my heartfelt condolences to those left behind and hope for healing in the wake of this tragic loss.
From the details reported, we know a northbound semi-truck struck a northbound firetruck when it attempted to use an emergency crossover in response to another accident. This suggests the firetruck’s lights were activated, and other emergency personnel was in the vicinity. I am left pondering what could cause the semi-driver to miss or disregard these warning signs.
While the answers to these questions will require a detailed investigation, it’s possible fatigue or distracted driving played a role. Commercial drivers are subject to strict rules governing the number of hours traveled each day. Today, many trucks are equipped with electronic control models that track each hour driven and deactivate the truck when the legal limit has been reached. Was this truck fitted with such equipment? On the other hand, was the semi-driver distracted by personal or company affairs that prevented him from noticing the firetruck? If so, did the driver’s company have policies that prevented or discouraged such distractions?
In accidents such as this, it is vital to uncover all the facts as quickly as possible. In my experience, governmental organizations have policies to do just that. There is no question the semi-driver’s insurance provider has already begun an internal investigation designed to limit liability.
Again, I extend my condolences to the families of the deceased and hope for their solace during this time of grief.
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