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Palm Harbor Fire Rescue Member Struck by Car at Accident Scene

By JASON HAYNES, Correspondent | September 22, 2021 | FLORIDA

Story No. 101821106

On September 22, 2021, at 0319 hours Palm Harbor Fire Rescue responded to a vehicle crash on US Hwy. 19/ Innisbrook Dr. This incident was like many crashes the members have responded to before. As crews finished up with patient care refusals, a few of the members were preparing to push one of the vehicles out of the roadway to a safer location. At 0330 hours Lieutenant firefighter/paramedic Ashley White headed back to the apparatus to retrieve her gloves before pushing the car off the roadway. At this time as she rounded the front of the forward blocking apparatus, she saw headlights rapidly approaching at a very high rate of speed. Lt. White yelled out and was able to move one step before a GMC Denali pickup truck struck our heavy rescue vehicle, fire engine, then striking Lt. White throwing her into the intersection of US Hwy 19. Her crew members quickly drug her out of the intersection and behind the safety of the blocking apparatus. Her crew then began rendering aid to her as the Heavy Rescue crew rendered aid to the driver of the vehicle that hit her. That vehicle ended up crashing into a fire hydrant and came to rest down in a ditch approximately 47 feet away from the original crash site. Lt. White was declared a trauma alert and transported to the local trauma center with life-threatening injuries. The driver of the vehicle that struck Lt. White became a trauma code on scene and was transported to the closest hospital where he died from his injuries. Lt. White suffered severe trauma to the upper and lower left extremities as well as some internal injuries. Lt. White has endured two extensive surgeries to repair damages that were caused by the accident and is currently out of the hospital and at home recovering. If it was not for the apparatus placement this tragic accident could have been so much worse. There were multiple firefighters and civilians from the first crash on the other side of these vehicles.

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.