A Merced County firefighter suffered minor injuries in a rollover accident in a Cal Fire engine just outside Merced city limits, according to the California Highway Patrol.
A firefighter was driving the engine alone southbound on McKee Road north of East Santa Fe Avenue towards a fire, Lt. Gil Peirson said. A compact car was pulled to the side of the road as drivers typically do for engines with their lights and sirens on.
As the engine approached the car around 8 a.m. the car swerved out in front of the engine, he said. The firefighter turned left to avoid a crash and the engine overturned.
The firefighter had lacerations to his head and he was taken to a local hospital as a precaution, according to Battalion Chief Mark Pimentel. He declined to release the firefighter’s name.
The driver did not stop and left the scene, CHP said. Officers are looking for the driver of the compact car, but the firefighter did not have many details on it and there doesn’t seem to be any other witnesses, Peirson said.
Merced County Cal Fire will use a reserve engine to cover for the damaged engine until it is repaired or replaced, according to Pimentel. A new engine fully stocked with equipment is about $400,000, he said.