While a Cedar Hill Fire Protection crew was working to put out a debris fire under the westbound Hwy. 30 bridge over the Big River on August 1, a vehicle struck the back of the pumper truck, Fire Chief Mick Fisher said.
At 10:46 p.m., a 71-year-old Dittmer woman, driving a Ford Escape, reportedly crashed into the truck and is suspected of driving while intoxicated, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Grant Bissell said.
However, as of Tuesday (Aug. 4), the accident was still under investigation, and the woman had not been arrested, Bissell said.
The woman was trapped in the SUV, and firefighters were able to get her out. She did not appear injured but was taken by Big River Ambulance to an area hospital out of caution, Bissell said.
No firefighters were hurt, but one of them saw the SUV headed toward the firetruck and had to dash out of the way, Fischer said.
He said he was grateful no firefighters were hit.
“It could have turned out a lot differently,” he said.
After the collision left the woman trapped in the SUV, fire crews had to pry open the truck's compartment doors to access tools needed to extricate the woman, Fischer said.
He said the woman was out of her vehicle by 10:56 p.m.
Fischer said the pumper will need to be sent to a company in Wisconsin to be repaired, and that business has a backlog of work, so the district’s truck most likely be out of commission for a year.
He said another pumper was hit by a deer a couple weeks ago and also needs to be fixed, so the district may have to rent or borrow a truck from a neighboring district.