4 hurt when fire truck collides with car

Published 10:23 am Thursday, December 27, 2018

A woman was seriously injured last week when a fire truck collided with the car she was driving on Junction Road.

Brianne Calhoun, 39, was at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center on Dec. 21 being treated for spine and head injuries. Her 10-year-old daughter was taken to Brenner Children’s Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, reported the N.C. Highway Patrol.

Cooleemee Firefighter Ashley Hepler was driving the fire truck south on Junction Road when it went off the road to the right, and came back onto the road. The rear end of the fire truck crossed the center line and collided with the Camaro driven by Hepler.

The fire truck was loaded with water, making it difficult to maneuver, troopers said.

Hepler was on a training drive with Firefighter Tyler Lambert. Lambert suffered a cut to the liver and a broken back, and Lambert suffered injuries to her arm. Both were taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Witnesses helped get the girl out of the car.

Troopers said there may have been a steering malfunction on the fire truck, and the investigation is continuing. Charges are pending.

“You do this kind of work so you see this stuff all the time, but you don’t expect it to be any of your people or your department involved, so I’m thinking and praying for everybody,” Cooleemee Fire Chief Doug Aldredge told WXII news.