The local newspaper is reporting that a Cal Fire/Riverside County Firefighter was struck and killed by a pick up truck this morning. The firefighter was assigned to Engine 35, which serves the city of Thousand Palms, located near Palm Springs here in Riverside County.
The incident occurred on the Monterey Ave on-ramp of Interstate 10 at about 0940 this morning. The as yet unidentified firefighter was standing on or near the on-ramp when the pick-up struck him and the fire engine.
The injured firefighter was transported to Desert Regional Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries.
The engine had been responding to a reported traffic accident, but is unclear at this time whether it was still assigned to the incident or why it was parked on the on-ramp.
The driver of the pick-up truck stopped at the scene and is cooperating with law enforcement. He reportedly consented to a blood test, but law enforcement stated that drugs or alcohol initially do not appear to be a factor in the accident.
I have often said that working the freeway was not the most dangerous thing I ever did in my career, but it was certainly the most dangerous thing that I did every day.
To the friends and family of the fallen, my deepest condolences. To my formerly green brothers, I feel your pain at the loss of your brother.