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Firefighter accused of driving fire truck drunk, causing accident

A San Francisco firefighter is facing criminal charges related to an on-duty collision with a motorcycle rider. The fire fighter is accused of being drunk while driving the fire truck, fleeing the scene of the accident and trying to fool blood-alcohol tests by chugging water before returning.

The fire truck accident happened in late June. The suspect was part of a crew that responded to a report of smoke coming from a building. He was driving a fire truck that struck a motorcycle while attempting a turn.

The motorcyclist was seriously injured. Despite orders from his superior to remain at the accident scene until police arrive, the firefighter disappeared for about 90 minutes.

During that time, a man went into a nearby bar and drank large amounts of water before leaving. Security footage indicates that the firefighter was the man, sources say. They believe he was hoping to dilute the alcohol in his system.

If so, that attempt was not successful. When he returned to the fire station, he underwent testing that measured his BAL at 0.13, well above the legal limit. Besides possible criminal charges, the suspect may be fired from the fire department.

We expect our firefighters to rescue us from emergency situations. So it is disappointing and disturbing to hear that a firefighter not only may have caused a violent collision, but failed to take responsibility for his actions. If the official version of events is accurate, this firefighter should no longer be a part of the San Francisco Fire Department.

Source: KGO-TV, "SF firefighter arrested in on-duty DUI crash may lose job," Vic Lee, July 22, 2013

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