Cloverleaf VFD loses fire engine with collision

January 12, 2013 5:12:52 PM PST
Four Cloverleaf volunteer firefighters were injured in a crash that flipped their fire truck, but three of them were back at work a day later on Saturday.

We spoke to one of those firefighters about the accident and the effect it had on their small department.

"I was sitting in this seat right here and this was the side that was up in the air," said Lt. Dustin Molina.

Molina and three other Cloverleaf Volunteer Fire Department firefighters were running errands in the engine Friday evening. Suddenly, they heard a pickup coming toward them.

"He was going at a very high rate of speed at the time," Molina said. "And then it just hit the fire truck and the fire truck just flipped over."

The fire engine was at the intersection of Hollywood and Brown Wood Street, just a block away from the station, when it happened.

All four firefighters were taken to the hospital as a precaution, but they were back home Saturday.

Their fire truck, on the other hand, may be a total loss.

"We'll be without an apparatus for months," firefighter Placido Rodriguez said.

The engine was one of only two in the small department.

"What if that other one doesn't start for some reason? Then help would be even further away," Rodriguez said. "We depend on Channelview and Sheldon -- the smaller departments -- to help us, and that'll just make our response time longer."

Officials had to extricate two people out of the pickup. They were both taken to Ben Taub with serious injuries.

The accident remains under investigation. There is no word on any pending charges.

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