‘Hard to get everybody to see us and hear us’: Canfield firefighter reflects on deadly 2014 crash

Local News

CANFEILD, Ohio (WKBN) – Warnings about slowing down and getting over for first responders and other maintenance vehicles have been going on for years, but crashes are still happening.

November 5, 2014, was a day Captain Troy Kolar won’t ever forget, as he and his partner responded to a call on the turnpike that turned deadly.

Kolar and his partner had just come to a stop on the Ohio Turnpike, and before they had even gotten out of the truck, they were hit.

He says seconds could have made a difference for life and death.

“We’d responded to a car versus a guardrail, and when we got there and began to angle our truck across the road like we do to protect the scene, we heard screeching tires and our firetruck was hit by a truck hauler,” Kolar said.

Kolar says he remembers the scene like yesterday.

He says a young woman did everything she was supposed to do. She slowed down, she had stopped but due to someone not doing that, she lost her life that day. The truck hit her car, her car then hit the fire truck and the truck actually went over her car and hit the top of the firetruck as well.

“Something like that really makes you appreciate the equipment that we have and the training that we get to provide a safe scene,” Kolar said.

He says crashes like that one make you appreciate the little things. He also says it makes him more aware of things when he drives his personal vehicle.

Just like what happened to the Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper in Defiance over the weekend, distractions can cause serious injuries, and some aren’t as lucky to walk from them.

“There’s so many things out there now that are distractions. Everybody is in a hurry and music’s loud and cars are made to where they’re more soundproof. So we make our lights brighter and our sirens louder, but it’s still hard to get everybody to see us and hear us,” Kolar said.

Kolar says the people working on the roadway could be someone’s brother, wife, family member and loved one. He asks people to just be patient when they are on a scene and to please slow down and pay attention.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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