An investigation is underway as to what caused a fire truck to run a red light and crash into a car carrying two Cal Poly students on Friday.

The collision injured the car’s driver, biology junior Athena Norton, fracturing her rib.

Passenger Mia White, a nutrition senior and president of the Cal Poly Democrats club, suffered minor scrapes and bruises.

The fire engine was part of the California Department of Forestry sent in from Sonoma County. The San Luis Obispo Fire Department sent several engines down to Southern California to control the wild fires and filled in with ones from other counties.

Engineer Ohlen Briant, 28 of Santa Rosa, was driving the CDF truck at the time of the accident.

“He had a firefighter in the cab and a firefighter in the back end of the engine,” CDF Investigator Mike Cole said.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation and the police report has not yet been finished. Whether or not Briant will be cited is also unknown.

Because the fire truck was damaged in the collision, Sonoma County sent down another truck to replace it, and took Briant back to his unit.

Cole said he is looking into whether Briant’s unfamiliarity with the area was a factor in the accident. Briant might be penalized for causing he crash.

“The process is reviewed very carefully,” Cole said. “And if the circumstances dictate disciplinary actions, disciplinary actions will be taken.”

The fire truck was on its way to a medical call at Camp San Luis when it crashed into Norton’s car at the intersection of Marsh and Santa Rosa streets.

The engine had its siren on, but Norton said she never heard it.

“We didn’t see it coming at all,” White said. “We had a green light and we were going through the intersection and I think I heard the siren about half a second before it hit us.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *