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N.C. first responders chastize drivers after apparatus is struck at crash

A driver is dead after hitting two emergency vehicles at crash scene in Rowan County


Rowan County Emergency Services/Facebook

By Joe Marusak
The News & Observer

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — North Carolina first responders chastised the impatient and hurried among us, after a driver hit two emergency vehicles at an Interstate 85 wreck scene on Friday and died.

“Slow Down and Move Over!” Rowan County Emergency Services posted in all capital letters on Facebook with a picture of the scene near the southbound Webb Road exit.

Around 4:50 a.m., the driver side-swiped one of the emergency vehicles and then careened into a fire truck from behind, The Charlotte Observer news partner WSOC reported. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the station.

The driver never slowed as he ignored a two-lane closure before hitting the vehicles at over 70 mph, WBTV reported, citing the State Highway Patrol.

No emergency responders were hurt when the driver hit the South Salisbury Fire Department truck and Rowan Rescue vehicle, according to Rowan County Emergency Services.

Troopers did not release the driver’s name on Saturday.

“We know that it is frustrating to sit in backed-up traffic on the interstate,” officials from Rowan County Emergency Services said. “We know we live in a society where everyone is in a rush.

“We promise you we do not like being out there as much as you do not want us blocking your way,” according to the Facebook post. “But if we have traffic blocked, it is for a reason, and that is everyone’s safety, including yours.”

Other drivers imperiled themselves and first responders by ignoring directions given at the scene and trying to find other ways around the wrecks, officials said.

“This is not ok,” according to the Facebook post. “Doing this is just as dangerous as drinking or texting while driving.

“Please do your part to make sure our next post is not to report the injury or death of a first responder being hit while trying to care for others,” emergency officials advised.

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