Faulty Brakes May Have Caused D.C. Fire Engine Crash


A crash between a D.C. fire engine and a police cruiser that injured two people may have occurred because of a problem with the fire engine's brakes, the department said Monday evening.

The vehicles crashed about 4:10 p.m. Oct. 5 on the 2700 block of Porter Street NW, injuring an officer and a firefighter.

A police report issued Friday pointed to the brakes as the problem, D.C. Fire and EMS said. An independent review found that an imbalance in the braking system pulled the vehicle to the left. A device to tow the engine may have contributed to that issue. The fire engine was last towed more than a year ago, in August 2014.

Firefighters told a repair crew on the morning of the crash about an air leak from the braking system. That leak was "not sufficient enough to place the apparatus out-of service," a fire department spokesman said.

The fire department will check all brakes in its fleet, starting with vehicles that recently have been towed.

“We will continue to test our apparatus to ensure that their braking systems are fully functional and allow our vehicles to stop safely," Chief Gregory Dean said in a statement.

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