She leaves behind three sons, two of them in elementary school and the other older. Our condolences to all those affected. Rest In Peace.
“I was on the back step of the fire engine grabbing a hose and as I begin to turn that’s when everything just went dark. My spinal cord was partially severed. Everything on the left side of me was pretty much crushed – broken leg. I’m missing a lung,” said Smothers.
He’s undergone 12 surgeries since the accident and will likely have to undergo even more. He’s now also legally blind in one eye and with virtually no function of his left arm. After being hospitalized for three months, Smothers has relearned basic functions including walking and continues intensive physical therapy.
A 60-page after-report (LINK BELOW) maintains blindspots were a leading factor that led Smothers to be pinned between a parked fire engine and a moving ladder truck. That same report also contends Smothers’ “lapse in situational awareness and lack of fire ground experience” were factors in the accident.
Since the incident, D.C. Fire and EMS has implemented new guidelines. Last night in a statement, the department said, in part, recommended actions “will be made so that we are doing all that we can to make sure that something like this won’t happen again,”
including staging blocks away from the scene of a fire.