TIVERTON — Three people including the driver of a car and two firefighters were injured when Tiverton’s fire engine #3 and the car collided on Bulgarmarsh Road near the town library at 2:37 p.m. Monday.
The firefighters reported by radio that a car “had swerved into their travel lane and struck their vehicle (the fire engine),” said Tiverton Fire Chief Robert Lloyd and Tiverton Police Captain Patrick Jones at a Tuesday afternoon press conference at the north Tiverton Fire Station. They said the engine's driver veered almost off the road to try to avoid the impact.
The driver of the car, identified as Lucia Borges, 46, of Westport, “suffered significant injuries due to the crash and was transported to RI Hospital where she remained Tuesday in the trauma unit in stable condition.
The fire truck, which was headed from one call to another without siren or flashing lights, was driven by firefighter Donald K. Clark with firefighter Brian Thompson as a passenger. Both were taken to St. Anne’s Hospital for observation and released after several hours.
Initial investigation by Tiverton Police has determined that Ms. Borges’ car was westbound and crossed the center line, striking the westbound fire engine.
Police said that investigators found several open “nip bottles” of alcohol in Ms. Borges’ vehicle. “Speed and alcohol have not been ruled out as contributing factors.
The engine sustained damage that the chief estimated might cost a half million dollars to fix; the vehicle could be sidelined for eight months.
The collision left the car with considerable front end damage