The members of the Ridge Fire Company would like to send our deepest condolences to the Lower Merion Fire Department/ Belmont Hills Fire Company and Union Fire Association.
Firefighters from the Belmont Hills and Gladwyne Fire Companies along with Narberth EMS and Pennsylvania State Police responded to Mile Marker 334.9 Westbound for a report of a two-vehicle accident with injuries. As crews arrived on the scene they made their way to the accident to check on injuries. While walking on the shoulder, a suspected drunk driver came down and ran into the group of firefighters as well as a Pennsylvania State Police officer.
Additional firefighters and EMS personnel were dispatched to the scene just after 3:30 a.m. when the second accident occurred, due to the extent of their injuries, two firefighters were flown to the University of Pennsylvania Presbyterian Hospital, where one has succumbed to their injuries. Another firefighter was also transported to Paoli Hospital in critical condition, the State Trooper was also taken to Penn Presbyterian by ground transport in critical condition.
Firefighters in Lower Merion are dispatched to the Schuylkill Expressway numerous times throughout the week and have special procedures in place to ensure the protection of all first responders on the scene. Unfortunately, one person decided that in the middle of the night that they did not want to wait for traffic to safely maneuver around the scene.
All of the firefighters that were hit by the vehicle were members of the Belmont Hills Fire Company of Lower Merion. This is the second time in less than a month in which a firefighter in Montgomery County was killed in the line of duty, and the second time in which the firefighter was from Lower Merion Township.
The driver of the vehicle that ran down the firefighters is currently in police custody and a list of charges is still pending at this time. It is also important to note that all subjects detained are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Please keep the members of the Lower Merion Township Fire Department, as well as the Belmont Hills Fire Company in your thoughts as they deal with the loss of their own, and continue to move forward after Firefighter Sean DeMuynck lost his life while fighting a fire on the Fourth of July.