As an Elk Grove Village Fire Dept. battalion chief was rolling up to a traffic accident with other fire department vehicles on the scene, the SUV he was driving was rear-ended by a civilian vehicle unable to change lanes fast enough to avoid an accident.
The crash occurred at about 7:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 19 as firefighters were responding to another rollover accident.
Elk Grove Village Police Chief Chuck Walsh said the battalion chief’s vehicle was slowing and just turning on his emergency lights. Walsh said the driver of the striking vehicle attempted to change lanes, but struck the rear of the Fire Battalion No. 2 SUV at a low rate of speed, dislodging a right rear side panel.
Elk Grove Village Fire Chief Richard Mikel said no one was injured in the rear-end collision and said repair costs and insurance claims are still being assessed.
The driver of the striking vehicle was charged with following another vehicle too closely but was not charged with violating Scott’s Law, a state statute mandating drivers change lanes and give way to emergency vehicles.
Walsh said the reason the driver was not cited with violating Scott’s Law is, “(The) battalion chief’s vehicle was not stopped on the roadway but was just pulling up, slowing down as he activated emergency lights.” Walsh also said the driver also attempted to change lanes to avoid the accident. “If the fire vehicle were stopped with lights activated then Scott’s law would have been appropriate,” Walsh concluded.
Walsh said officers would receive additional training on Scott’s Law during shift briefings in March and said the department would, “conduct directed enforcement for this type of violation.”
A posting on the Elk Grove Village Fire Dept. Facebook page addressing the accident said: “The Elk Grove Village Fire Department would like to remind everyone to limit distractions while driving. Please slow down and move over for emergency vehicles. This is especially important during winter driving conditions when stopping distances are increased due to snow and ice.”