WASHINGTON - D.C. Fire and EMS tells FOX 5 that a fire engine involved in a fatal crash that also left a pregnant woman injured Friday is the same fire engine that also hit a police cruiser when its brakes failed while firefighters were responding to a call in 2015.
As FOX 5’s Paul Wagner reported Sunday, the fire department changed the truck’s number from Engine 28 to Engine 26 after the 2015 crash, and it was moved to a new fire station. It’s unclear if the issues that led to the 2015 are related to Friday’s crash.
Friday’s crash killed 31-year-old Deangelo Green, whose Honda Accord was t-boned by Engine 26 in the intersection of 12th Street NE and Rhode Island Avenue NE. A pregnant woman walking on the sidewalk was hit by another car involved in the crash, and was taken to the hospital where she was in stable condition over the weekend. A firefighter also suffered minor injuries, but was expected to be okay.
A witness told FOX 5 the fire truck had its lights on when the crash happened.
According to a report from the 2015 incident, the driver of what was at the time known as Engine 28 told police the brakes were to blame for the crash. That claim was confirmed by a preliminary inspection report.
The 2015 crash happened on Porter Street NW, as the fire truck was responding to a call. The driver slammed on the brakes while trying to avoid a car, but said the truck kept moving—crashing into a police cruiser that had pulled over to the side of the road to let the engine go by.
Soon after that accident, the fire chief said the brakes were not to blame. The 13-page accident report revealed the engine did have defective brakes, but the department’s Fleet Maintenance Division was never notified. The 2015 report said the division was informed of an air leak problem, but the engine remained in service.
Eventually, the D.C. fire chief did acknowledge that the brakes may have been to blame, and said they would be inspected.
It’s unclear if the two incidents are connected. The cause of Friday’s crash is still under investigation, and D.C. Fire and EMS declined to go on camera with FOX 5 Sunday. Meanwhile, FOX 5 has requested copies of all of the inspection reports for Engine 26.
“While the cause of the accident is under investigation, I hope the repairs performed after the 2015 accident were sufficient and there were no mechanical deficiencies that played a part in this recent accident,” said Dabney Houston, VP of the D.C. Firefighters Union. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”
Deangelo Green’s family told FOX 5 they were shocked to learn that the crash isn’t the first incident involving Engine 26, and said they will be getting an attorney.
Green and his wife had been married for just shy of two years when he was killed, but his wife told FOX 5 they had known each other since she was 14. He leaves behind six children.
In an interview Saturday night, Green’s wife told FOX 5 she works as a traffic controller in D.C., and she was actually called to the scene to help direct traffic moments after the accident was reported. When she arrived, she realized the mangled vehicle involved was his.
October 2015: DC fire truck, police cruiser involved in collision