Dash cam in fire truck did not record video during deadly DC crash, DC Fire and EMS says

- A dashboard camera on the front of a fire truck that was involved in a deadly crash with another vehicle in Northeast D.C. earlier this month did not have a memory card and was not recording at the time of the collision, D.C. fire officials say.

On March 9, Engine 26 was responding to a call when it collided with a Honda Accord at the intersection of 12th Street and Rhode Island Avenue. The driver of the Accord, 31-year-old Deangelo Green, was killed. A pregnant woman standing on the sidewalk was also injured during the incident.

Green left behind a wife and six children.

“Since the fatal accident on March 9, 2018, we have learned that there was not a memory card in Engine 26’s dashboard video camera,” the D.C. Fire and EMS Department said in a news release. “These cameras are designed to record real-time video of crashes or other incidents, but the use and functionality of the equipment has been unintentionally uneven over the years. Because of this, in January, the Department entered into a contract with a vendor to evaluate the condition of the dash-board cameras on all of our apparatus; this evaluation was ongoing when Engine 26 was involved in the accident. The purpose of the contract is to assess the video equipment and functionality in each engine, ladder truck and ambulance. The long-term goal is to ensure that each unit has a working, recording and retrievable video.”

Two sources familiar with apparatus for the fire department said many dash cameras in the fleet either do not record video or the footage cannot be downloaded.

D.C. Fire and EMS Chief Gregory Dean said on the day of the crash on March 9 that the fire truck had the right of way at the intersection. However, a witness at the scene of the crash disputed that claim, telling FOX 5 that the fire truck went through a red light when the collision occurred. 

FOX 5 learned last week that the fire truck in the March collision is the same vehicle that struck a police cruiser in 2015 after the engine's brakes failed. The fire truck’s number was changed from Engine 28 to Engine 26 and moved to a new fire station following the 2015 crash.

D.C. Fire and EMS said Thursday that Engine 26 passed a preventative maintenance inspection last November, which included a brake inspection.

The crash remains under investigation by D.C. police.

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