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Scranton crash involves fire chief, pedestrian

According to reports, the chief of the Scranton Fire Department was recently involved in a fatal crash. Officials have said that the administrative official was driving his pickup truck in Scranton, Pa., when he collided with a pedestrian. The car accident killed the pedestrian, a woman who was reportedly serving on a grand jury case downtown.

Surveillance footage taken from a camera located at the William J. Nealon Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse indicated that the 60-year-old woman was outside of the crosswalk when she was struck by the pickup truck, according to police officials reviewing the tape. The fire chief was driving on North Washington Avenue, turning left onto Linden Street where the woman was crossing. He had a green arrow at the time of the accident and failed to notice the pedestrian.

The district attorney for Lackawanna County stated that he and the acting police chief for Scranton asked state police to assist with the investigation of the crash. This was to make sure that there would be no questions regarding the validity of the investigation, even though some have already appeared regarding the possibility that the fire chief was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

Officials said that there was no reason to suspect the driver of being intoxicated. Many people communicated with him after the accident and no one suggested that he be tested for driving under the influence. In many cases, fatal accidents such as this see such tests performed with or without suspicion, but the city has no universal policy requiring employees that are involved in an accident while on the job to take such tests.

Attempts to reach the fire chief were unsuccessful, likely because he is taking some vacation time, according to the mayor of Scranton.

Family members of victims that are killed in car accidents are often entitled to compensation for any medical expenses or costs associated with the death of their loved one, as well as loss of companionship in some instances.

Source: Firehouse, "Police Probe Fatal Crash Involving Pa. Fire Chief," David Singleton, Feb. 26, 2013

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