Driver reaching for cell phone crashes into fire truck, state police report

David Albers/Staff 
A Mazda RX-8 crashed into the back of a North Naples Fire Control and Rescue DIstrict fire engine as it was parked on Livingston Road responding to a medical call on Sunday, June 3, 2012, in Naples. The fire engine was stopped on the inside lane of southbound traffic with emergency lights activated and with traffic cones diverting traffic around it.

Photo by DAVID ALBERS, Naples Daily News // Buy this photo

David Albers/Staff A Mazda RX-8 crashed into the back of a North Naples Fire Control and Rescue DIstrict fire engine as it was parked on Livingston Road responding to a medical call on Sunday, June 3, 2012, in Naples. The fire engine was stopped on the inside lane of southbound traffic with emergency lights activated and with traffic cones diverting traffic around it.

— A 26-year-old driver plowed into the back of a parked fire truck while reaching down to grab his cell phone Sunday, Florida Highway Patrol troopers said.

Sean P. Smith of Collier County suffered minor injuries and was transported to NCH Downtown Naples Hospital after the 11:20 a.m. crash on southbound Livingston Road, about a half-mile north of Immokalee Road, troopers said. The collision caused about $50,000 worth of damage to the 14-year-old North Naples Fire Department truck, while Smith’s 2004 Mazda RX8 received about $10,000 in damage.

Firefighters were parked on the road after responding to a medical emergency involving a person on the ground near the sidewalk along Livingston Road, North Naples battalion chief Al Duffy said. The truck’s emergency lights were activated and cones had been set up behind the truck, Duffy said.

“That’s our standard operating procedure,” Duffy said. “They had been on the scene for maybe five minutes before this happened.”

Nobody was in the truck at the time of the crash. The truck will be removed from service and a reserve will be used in its place, Duffy said.

“That whole rear-end is going to have to be looked at,” Duffy said. “The damage is extensive.”

The Mazda two-door came to rest on a concrete median after rotating clockwise, its front-end destroyed. Smith faces a careless driving charge.

The crash shut down southbound traffic on Livingston Road for about a 1 1/2 hours Sunday.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 54

Flacrkr writes:

Didn't see the big red truck with flashing lights? Glad it wasn't a bicycle or motorcycle.

stonnerjohnnyII writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

sunburnt writes:

I bet, HE WAS TEXTING

ThisGuyy writes:

in response to stonnerjohnnyII:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The RX-8 is technically a 5-door. There are functioning rear doors that open up once the front doors are open. So both you and the editor are wrong

stonnerjohnnyII writes:

Good call. I missed the "4" key. Yes it does have a hatch but it's tough to get in the car from back there

Sick writes:

Nobody was in the truck at the time of the crash. The truck receives damage to its back end and will be taken out of service, Duffy said.

To be repaired at the drivers expense and put back into service right?

No way will they discard an entire fire truck for a tail light and some red paint would they?

If they do I want it. Since I helped pay for it.

retdocman writes:

in response to Sick:

Nobody was in the truck at the time of the crash. The truck receives damage to its back end and will be taken out of service, Duffy said.

To be repaired at the drivers expense and put back into service right?

No way will they discard an entire fire truck for a tail light and some red paint would they?

If they do I want it. Since I helped pay for it.

Someone hits you from behind they pay for it don't they through their insurance company? Why ask a s----- question. Look at the picture, it is not just a rear tail light and red paint damage. Maybe we can pull together and send you to get your eyes checked...were you driving the Mazda?

Chester writes:

I believe "taken out of service" means it needs to be fixed and won't be available for duty. I doubt they are scrapping it.

Beachglow writes:

You know, we went decades and decades and decades without all this ridiculous technology.
It has its place, but we need to outlaw it in vehicles and go back to basics. Use it for an emergency and pull off the road before you kill somebody.

As for texting, well I have friends who are now going through hand and finger surgery because of constant texting over the years. It's just another useless toy unless it's an emergency or used for business while not on the road.

Sick writes:

50 Grand worth of damage my rear. And then they had to talk about it being 14 years old.

They will scrap it watch and see.

Sick writes:

Here is one to replace it that is bigger and better for only 25 grand.

They may even take the "50 grand worth of damaged one" in on trade.

LOL

http://www.firetrucksforsale.com/fire...

Hindsight writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

barymac writes:

I was immediately ahead of the crash and watched it thru my rearview mirror. I noticed the stopped emergency vehicles at least 30 seconds before I got to them and another car and I had plenty of time to move over. How this driver was that oblivious for that long is incomprehensible.

native_at_heart writes:

my God look at that car!! He is lucky to be alive.

tampacoco writes:

Keep off the dang phone and save a life it might be your own.

TiredoftheBS writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

MacGumbo writes:

Serious damage to the box.

Look at the bottom of the compartment located above the tire in pics 16, 21 and you'll see that the box is bent down at the last third of the compartment.

It'll be out for quite a while.

busybee writes:

in response to native_at_heart:

my God look at that car!! He is lucky to be alive.

Thank you Native...I was thinking the same thing. When did the replacement cost or estimated damage to a fire truck become more important than a human life? Sad, very sad. I'm a big fan of NO TEXTING AND DRIVING (or eating, reading, applying make up, or the cop on her way to work in uniform speeding and on the phone that almost killed me and my son) Put the phone DOWN and pay attention and Drive!

turfking writes:

Reaching for a cell phone? For about 3-5 minutes to have missed a fire engine. Quit texting you buffoon. They will pull his cell records and this will shed some light to his truthfulness.

kingkoby writes:

Very s-----, keep your eyes on the road, not on your cell phone. I hope everyone saw what happen, if you need to use the phone pull off the road, that is an order.

HAP writes:

So when will they make it illegal? No one is looking at the road anymore. Getting in our cars is a death wish.

Bigkondorsback (Inactive) writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

blefebvre writes:

Reaching for a cell phone....don't blame the cell phone as he could have spilt his soda, been fighting off a lit cigarette he dropped in his lap, reaching for his hamburger or french fries, etc. He should have instead paid attention to his driving. He is lucky to be alive and not going to jail for Vehicular homicide!

angrytxpyr writes:

At 14 years old and now with the significant damage to its body and most likely the frame and drive train I would have to say there will be an order for a new Fire Truck at NNFD.

As for the IDIOT who was reaching for the cell phone I would have to say they're pretty lucky they apparently just clipped the back of the truck and didn't glide right under it. How can you not see the back of that truck with its $5,000 worth of reflective tape and flashing lights

I can only imagine the headline if instead of a fire truck the object he hit was one of those groups of obnoxious bike riders that like to straddle the line and ride three across just to screw up the people driving cars.

Hey I'm glad nobody was hurt in this one, its just to bad the jerk reaching for the cell will probably not learn his lesson and just keep on keeping on.

VENI_VIDI_VICI writes:

scary for all drivers out there! especially
cycle drivers!

marco826 writes:

Whoever said that Mazda has $10,000 in damage is a fool...

slickwillie writes:

in response to marco826:

Whoever said that Mazda has $10,000 in damage is a fool...

yep, that things a total..........

HadYourPhil writes:

The Mazda looks like a total loss to me. And Beachglow, I agree with you.

smurfula writes:

Do local shopping in a small town, store to store, get ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR FINE for not buckling seat belt. WHAT IS THE FINE FOR BLOCKING PERIFIAL VISION, DRIVING WITH ONE HAND, WHILE USING A CELL PHONE????????

tampacoco writes:

in response to kingkoby:

Very s-----, keep your eyes on the road, not on your cell phone. I hope everyone saw what happen, if you need to use the phone pull off the road, that is an order.

+1

accountgonebad (Inactive) writes:

We all need to send the FL legislature a message:

It is time to BAN DRIVER'S CELL PHONE USE IN ALL VEHICLES!

accountgonebad (Inactive) writes:

in response to marco826:

Whoever said that Mazda has $10,000 in damage is a fool...

BTW, I'm sure that was the KBB value, not the actual repair cost.

freedomsailor writes:

in response to Sick:

Nobody was in the truck at the time of the crash. The truck receives damage to its back end and will be taken out of service, Duffy said.

To be repaired at the drivers expense and put back into service right?

No way will they discard an entire fire truck for a tail light and some red paint would they?

If they do I want it. Since I helped pay for it.

sick - You are SICK. It's time to put you out of your misery!

puravida9 writes:

Ban cell phone use in cars. Pull over if you need to make a call. 3rd world countries are banning cell phone use in cars. What are we waiting for. It's worse than driving totally wasted. Glad no one was hurt!!!

Colorado (Inactive) writes:

Freedom!!!! Ain't it great. No helmets, unlimited cell phone use in a car, guns everywhere. Our society is sinking to the lowest common denominator (that's a math term for most of you redneck, freedom lovers) and it has cost our leadership in the world.

wrightconnection writes:

It's a blessing that no one was killed. I agree that we should ban texting, and cell phone use while driving. But just because we make a law dosen't mean it won't be broken. People will still be texting and using their phones. They will just be holding them out of sight making it more difficult to detect and taking more time to do. We're screwed on this one...it will never stop unfortunatley.

Notthesame writes:

the next time your sitting at a red light, wathc the traffic that has the green light and count how many are on the phone, you'll have to put your down though to get an accurate count. The deadliest invention of the 20th Century,cell phones. and they are getting worse. technollogy is ruining this country.

staghorn writes:

in response to accountgonebad:

We all need to send the FL legislature a message:

It is time to BAN DRIVER'S CELL PHONE USE IN ALL VEHICLES!

the republican led legislature does not have time to be burdened with creating laws preventing cell phone use or texting while driving. they have other issues to work on that are far more important. why just look at some of the bills those hard working, family values, keep your government hands off of my $400.00 a year cadillac healthcare party of 'no' republicans have been working on over the last year:

Tallahassee, Florida -- Florida's ( 2011) Legislative Session begins Tuesday. Lawmakers are expected to cover a wide range of topics, and get this: the Republican led legislature will be taking up a bill (SB 344) outlawing sexual activity with animals. That's right, it's apparently a big enough issue that we need a law making it illegal.

TALLAHASEE, Fla. -- The Florida Legislature has passed a school prayer bill and sent it to Gov. Rick Scott.
The Republican led House voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill Thursday.

Tallahasse, Florida - Senate bill (SB 2106), approved by a Republican led Senate Thursday, would allow restaurants and other employers to slash hourly pay for servers, bartenders, others.

those republicans don’t have time to save lives! why just look at what the republicans told taxpayer what would happen in Tallahassee for 2012:

Region's state lawmakers don't expect major reform in 2012 session

after all even rick scott tells us,
Economic turnaround doesn't 'happen in a day'

IrishFan writes:

Unless you have a "bluetooth" device, or one of the newer cars which lets you simply speak to text or call, you should not be on your cell phone in the car, period. I'm surprised not one of our paid law makers, who owns stock in the manufacturers of bluetooths have not made this their "cause" so as to put even more $$$ in their pockets.

Thank God this bozo did not have a carload of kids in the vehicle with him on their way to the waterpark What a piece of work.

Therealist writes:

Why do people think a cell phone ban while driving is going to deter people from using their phones while driving? I was up in the Philadelphia area a couple weeks ago where it's illegal.

The usage I witnessed was about the same as it is here. The phones aren't the problem; it's the people that choose to use them while driving that is the problem.

Go ahead and put a ban in place; the only thing it will do is generate a bit of revenue. It's not going to make the streets any safer.

Niki_6 writes:

Aaaaass whole! He must have not been paying attention for quite a while to miss a giant red truck with flashing lights and cones on a clear day. So the phone supposedly fell on the floor. Leave it there until you can stop safely to retrieve it - it will be there! But this story sounds like a coverup. What a complete idiot with no thought for anyone but himeself. Thank god he didn't hit the workers or the people on the sidewalk. It's amazing to me how many people think they are multitasking but really can't talk and drive at the same time. It's time to ban cell phones in cars like other states, unless you have a hands free device. I hope he gets some serious commuinty service time for this.

babbas writes:

I guess he wasn't going to move over a lane to the left, like the law requires when an emergency vehicle or police car is parked on the right berm.
Just another inconsiderate "I'm the center of the universe" individual that we seem to have LOTS of in Naples.

felipe writes:

lol he can't walk and chew gum at the same time either!!! the blogger that was complaining that we were worried about the cost to repair the truck instead of a human life , i look at it this way , if he doesn't care about what he does when he is behind the wheel of a car ( which by the way he got lucky , he didn't hurt anybody ) why should we care if he messed himself up , THE IDIOT !!!

ltlnsx writes:

Wow ... only minor injuries. Kudos to Mazda!

SAJD writes:

WHEN YOU DRIVE DISTRACTED ... WE'RE ALL IMPACTED! www.sajd.org

lilme writes:

It was a blessing that there were no passengers in Mr. Smith's car. I personally thank God that no Collier County employee, especially a Fireman, EMT and/or law enforcement officer were harmed. While I would not wish a Mayor Bloomberg (NY) on this County; I certainly hope a few progressive representatives would lead a campaign for change regarding cell phone usage and texting on Florida roadways before there is a mega disaster....and it is coming!

annoyedatstupidity writes:

What an idiot that kid is! Suspend his license! He is a danger to the road!

imjustbeinghonest writes:

I definitely can't believe he's still alive. By the looks of it, he would have definitely killed a passenger!

ezdozit writes:

Driving H.U.A.

anonimous239 writes:

Idiot!

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