Months before a deadly crash involving a Kansas City fire truck last year, a medic warned fire officials that the truck’s driver was reckless and speeding. The warning came in a Sept. 29 email with the subject heading “Horrendous driving” sent by a medic to supervisors in the Kansas City Fire Department. A copy of the message was included among documents filed this week in Jackson County Circuit Court.
The day before, fire truck driver Dominic Biscari accelerated to 70 mph on Broadway when it wasn’t necessary, she said.
Then they were transporting a critically ill patient who was intubated and she had to tell him to slow down because “he was throwing us all over the place so much that I actually fell of the bench seat.”
Later she said she feared for her life because he was going so fast that the ambulance went airborne and landed “so hard that it jarred my back and gave me instant head pain.” She said she screamed at him to slow down.
“I will not be getting into another ambulance with him ever again,” she wrote in the email.
Biscari was driving Pumper 19 on Dec. 15 when the fire truck entered the intersection at Westport Road and Broadway Boulevard with its lights and sirens on. It collided with a Honda CRV and the force of the crash sent the vehicles careening to the northwest, where they struck a pedestrian before slamming into a building.
It was on the same street, Broadway, where he was earlier reported to be driving 70 mph without reason.
The Honda’s occupants, Jennifer San Nicolas and Michael Elwood, and pedestrian Tami Knight, were killed. San Nicolas and Elwood worked at the restaurant Ragazza and Knight was a Kansas City Public Schools employee. All three were from Kansas City.
Lawsuits filed on behalf of Elwood and Knight allege Biscari was negligent and traveling too fast.
During a deposition, fire officials declined to answer questions about what happened after the medic sent the email. Attorney Tim Dollar represents Elwood’s family and has filed a motion to compel fire officials to respond.
“This lawsuit seeks to hold all those responsible accountable,” Dollar said Friday. “It’s tragic — three fatalities that occurred roughly one month after this email was sent to the fire department which is astonishing.”
A criminal review of the case was sent to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office in February. Spokesman Mike Mansur said Friday that the review is ongoing and they are working to complete it.
A spokesman from the fire department did not respond Friday to a request for comment.