09/24/2023- 2234 hours: Crews responded for a motor vehicle collision on Interstate 81 in Antrim Township, Franklin County in the area of mile marker 7 northbound. With vehicles and a large debris field blocking travel lanes, traffic was diverted off the exit (Exit 5/Buchanan Trail) prior to the incident. Utility 8- a utility vehicle used by fire police from the Marion Volunteer Fire Company- was positioned in the roadway with warning devices and traffic direction sign active when a motorist passed a line of exiting vehicles and struck the apparatus. No injuries to personnel or civilians, but the unit is currently out of service.
Any incident has challenges but operations on high volume roadways require additional diligence and awareness. Higher speeds, distracted drivers who may be unfamiliar with the roadway and volume of traffic require constant attention with no expectation that motorists recognize conditions or will comply with measures in place.