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Woman dies in Pennsylvania accident with fire truck

Earlier this month, a fatal crash in South Middleton Township, Pennsylvania, took the life of a 70-year-old woman. The car accident involved her Ford Freestyle minivan and a fire truck. The four-man crew inside the emergency vehicle attempted to provide life-saving procedures, but failed.

According to a press release from Citizen's Fire Co., the company has expressed its sadness surrounding the accident that caused the woman to die. The accident approaches some legal grey areas surrounding emergency vehicles, but the driver of the fire truck or the fire company could be held liable for the woman's death.

According to a report by authorities, the 70-year-old woman was traveling west on East Old York Road, also known as Route 174. As she entered the intersection at Route 34, also known as Holly Pike, her Ford minivan and a northbound fire truck crashed into one another. Occupants in both vehicles were wearing their seat belts when the crash occurred.

Investigators have not determined whether or not the 70-year-old woman, from Carlisle, Pennsylvania, ignored a red light before the incident. At that time, the emergency crew was on its way to a vehicle fire on Interstate 81.

Since the accident, investigators have found the driver of the fire truck to be at fault. Despite having its siren and lights on before the accident occurred, Pennsylvania requires that an emergency vehicle yields to any non-emergency vehicle that enters its path. But like many other states, non-emergency vehicles must also yield to emergency vehicles when emergency indicators are apparent.

According to Citizen's Fire Co., the driver in question has been placed on administrative leave until the investigation is over. The Pennsylvania State Police and the Cumberland County district attorney's office are determining whether or not charges will be filed against the driver.

Source: The Sentinel, "Police: Fire truck driver at fault in Thursday's fatal crash," Matt Ciccocioppo, Dec. 9, 2011

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