They were on the way to help strangers, but they ended up helping their brothers.
Five Plympton-Wyoming firefighters were helped by their colleagues after ending up in the middle of a multi-vehicle pile up on Highway 402 near Camlachie Road which included eight transports, a dozen cars and trucks and two fire trucks.
The department was called out to an accident near the weigh stations on the 402 around 7:30 pm; they were travelling slowly with one truck on in the passing lane and the two others on the left to slow traffic when they hit a white out, according to Fire Chief Mike Vasey. “We had our lights and sirens on.”
But Vasey says it appears the road had not been salted or sanded and the snow had turned into a sheet of ice so when the drivers tried to stop in the whiteout, they could not. That’s when the pile up started. “The firefighters in one truck jumped out and headed to the median and waited for a stop to all the banging and clanging.”
When the crunching stopped, the 19 firefighters on the highway realized five of their own were hurt – Vasey says the found their tools spread out over the highway to pull one firefighter out of the rescue truck.
Five went to hospital; four were treated for injuries like bruising and cuts. One firefighter needed surgery to fix his broken wrist.
Two of Plympton-Wyoming’s trucks were heavily damage. Vasey says they’re a write off. For now, Plympton-Wyoming is borrowing equipment from other departments while they try to find trucks to rent and eventually buy.
The OPP also sustained damage to a vehicle because of the accident. A cruiser which was blocking the highway was heavily damaged when a truck ran into it. The officer wasn’t in the vehicle at the time.
Police continue the investigation of the accident.