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Officials: Fire Engine Placement Saved Lives at Crash Scene

Engine 111 shielded emergency personnel from the potentially fatal impact of a fast-moving car, authorities said.

Prince George's County fire officials say the careful placement of a fire engine at the scene of a recent crash in College Park may have made the difference between life and death.

On Aug. 18 at around 4:15 a.m., fire, EMS, and Maryland State Police units responded to an accident on the outer loop of the Capital Beltway between Route 1 and the I-95 split.

As emergency personnel tended to motorists and surveyed the damage from the collision, another car reportedly slammed into a engine (no. 111) stationed at the scene.

Fire officials said the engine had been positioned by the company's driver to shield those at the crash site from oncoming traffic.

"This decision and correct placement saved lives and prevented serious injury to many who were just on the other side of the unit," the PGFD said in a statement.

Despite the presence emergency warning lights, fire officials said the vehicle broadsided the engine at a high rate of speed, causing more than $50,000 in damage and rendering the truck unusable for several months.

No injuries were incurred in either accident, but the driver of the striking vehicle was taken into custody and charged with several traffic violations by Prince George's County Police.

"Barrier protection, never turning your back to oncoming traffic, wearing high visibility vests, and exercising extreme caution at all times while operating on a roadway will help to make sure everyone goes home after every call," the PGFD warned.

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