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  • Why you don't need lights!

    This says it all!




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    A Volunteer Firefighter in Pennsylvania was driving up to 75 mph and passing cars with his emergency lights flashing when his personal vehicle hit a motorcycle head-on, killing the 23 year old driver last year. But police said there was no emergency at the time, which is why they have charged Jonathan Hogue, 20, with homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter and other crimes in connection with the August 9 crash.

    The crash happened at 2040 hours when Hogue was driving west in the eastbound trying to pass westbound traffic. Hogue told them a passenger was "playing with" his emergency lights at the time. Hogue's attorney calls the crash a "terrible, terrible accident" but won't comment on the charges or permit Hogue to do so.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  • #2
    This is a horrible tragedy and I feel sorry for all involved.

    Hopefully this does not come to lawsuits. If it does, the chief is going to find out that he is in trouble as well. In PA, the chief is responsible for giving the state police a list of license plate numbers and drivers that are allowed to have blue lights. In essence, the chief is signing off on the fireman.

    I believe that all too often chiefs are not taking seriously the responsiblity of signing these documents as well as class applications. I have seen many classes where the students were far from meeting prerequisites, but the chief signed the application.

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    • #3
      well thats just sheer stupidity there.

      Comment


      • #4
        SOP enforcment

        I agree that it's just stupidity. I did not read the link but what I read on the post tells me that was not a POV with lights issue, but rather someone just being stupid. Also from what I've read in the post above, to say that "it's another reason you don't need lights.", I feel doesn't fit the situation.

        Unless CaptOldTimer is saying that NO fire department (Volunteer or paid) needs lights for any situation while in motion. Most of the video footage of dangerous driving with code lights came from paid departments. If that's that case then the information should be passed on up the ladder.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DarkStarr View Post
          well thats just sheer stupidity there.
          Blue lights? Yes, they are stupid!
          "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

          Comment


          • #6
            Blue?

            Originally posted by FWDbuff View Post
            Blue lights? Yes, they are stupid!
            Are you saying it's the color "Blue" that caused the crash? Or someone driving stupid caused the crash?

            Or are you saying that there should be "no" driving code-3? (Paid departments)


            My interperetation of that is that it's not an issue about driving with lights. It's an issue of SOP's and a department hiring competent people.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by XRaysJL View Post


              My interperetation of that is that it's not an issue about driving with lights. It's an issue of SOP's and a department hiring competent people.
              And you would be correct. It has nothing what so ever to do with running lights in a POV. A person like this would have hurt someone eventualy with or without lights in his car. It just so happens that he chose to do it running lights.
              Career Firefighter
              Volunteer Captain

              -Professional in Either Role-

              Originally posted by Rescue101
              I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by FWDbuff View Post
                Blue lights? Yes, they are stupid!
                your moms stupid....



























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                • #9
                  Idiots don't kill people. Flashing lights do. The lights have nothing to do with this. This guy was a moron. We, as a fire service, need to be a little more selective with our hiring. times are tough but not that tough.
                  FF/Paramedic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you leave the lights out of the story, it is what it is - someone driving stupidly. The fact that it was a head-on collision says it was on a "surface" road, not limited-access, putting the reported speed at least 20 over the posted limit.

                    The road (US30) doesn't appear to be conducive to those speeds.

                    Another report: http://www.bradfordpa.info/10950

                    I'm not buying his "my friend was playing with the lights." If that truly was the case, that makes his driving at 75 MPH even stupider, since he wasn't driving under the (very) limited "protection" that flashing lights might offer (people actually do get out of the way for blue lights in areas where they are common).

                    This is the second fatal involving a VFF with lights and a motorcycle that I'm aware of. In our local case, however, he didn't have the lights on and wasn't on a response. He reported stopped at a stop sign and looked both ways, but missed an oncoming motorcycle and pulled out in front if it, killing the rider (the bike broadsided the pickup). That didn't stop some local media from pointing out the blue light bar on his vehicle.

                    I suspect the incident in PA would have occured even if the vehicle didn't have lights on it - we just wouldn't be reading about it here.
                    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yep...........

                      Originally posted by tree68 View Post
                      If you leave the lights out of the story, it is what it is - someone driving stupidly. The fact that it was a head-on collision says it was on a "surface" road, not limited-access, putting the reported speed at least 20 over the posted limit.

                      The road (US30) doesn't appear to be conducive to those speeds.

                      Another report: http://www.bradfordpa.info/10950

                      I'm not buying his "my friend was playing with the lights." If that truly was the case, that makes his driving at 75 MPH even stupider, since he wasn't driving under the (very) limited "protection" that flashing lights might offer (people actually do get out of the way for blue lights in areas where they are common).

                      This is the second fatal involving a VFF with lights and a motorcycle that I'm aware of. In our local case, however, he didn't have the lights on and wasn't on a response. He reported stopped at a stop sign and looked both ways, but missed an oncoming motorcycle and pulled out in front if it, killing the rider (the bike broadsided the pickup). That didn't stop some local media from pointing out the blue light bar on his vehicle.

                      I suspect the incident in PA would have occured even if the vehicle didn't have lights on it - we just wouldn't be reading about it here.

                      I think you're right on the Money........... People who drive like idiots are going to do so, regardless of their Affiliation with any organization.... We once "Dismissed" a person who caused problems in the neighborhood with his Driving habits/attitude (and refusal to shape up). Couple of years later he died in a Crash in another County, apparently due to "Pilot Error" on his part.
                      Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                      In memory of
                      Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                      Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                      IACOJ Budget Analyst

                      I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

                      www.gdvfd18.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tree68 View Post
                        If you leave the lights out of the story, it is what it is - someone driving stupidly. The fact that it was a head-on collision says it was on a "surface" road, not limited-access, putting the reported speed at least 20 over the posted limit.
                        You don't think the lights may have enabled or contributed to that behavior in any way?

                        I agree that the driver is ultimately responsible for his actions and that in this case those actions were reckless and irresponsible. At the same time the fact that he had the lights could have been a factor in his decision to act that way.
                        So you call this your free country
                        Tell me why it costs so much to live
                        -3dd

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hwoods View Post
                          I think you're right on the Money........... People who drive like idiots are going to do so, regardless of their Affiliation with any organization.... We once "Dismissed" a person who caused problems in the neighborhood with his Driving habits/attitude (and refusal to shape up). Couple of years later he died in a Crash in another County, apparently due to "Pilot Error" on his part.
                          So true! Lights vs. No lights are a case by case, location by location complicated issue. I have them, but don't use them for every call. I have had to sit waiting within sight of the station for traffic because I was not using them and the people in front had no idea I was responding. So I waited.


                          The original situation has more to do with maturity and responsibility than lights. (Lights being used incorrectly and at the wrong time)

                          We can all play the what if game on this..

                          What if he was tired and worked a 20 hour shift?
                          What if he was talking on his cell phone?
                          What if he was texting on his cell phone?
                          What if he was reaching for a CD on the floor?

                          Bottom line is the driver did something wrong and there was a terrible situation caused by that driver's actions.
                          Last edited by ChiefDog; 07-02-2010, 10:09 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by voyager9 View Post
                            You don't think the lights may have enabled or contributed to that behavior in any way?
                            Depends on how much credence you want to put on his claim that his buddy (a likely strong contributing factor in and of himself) was the one playing with the lights.

                            The car was a Dodge Caliber. Not the hottest car on the road, but sporty enough. He was 20, no mention of the age of his companion but likely close. Speeds were reportedly 68-75 on a somewhat windy two lane highway (US 30 west of Pittsburg).

                            I'll certainly not say that the lights were not a contributing factor, but I think his immaturity, with a strong dose of showing off, comes in pretty high on the list.

                            What I do object to is this 59-year-old 32+ year volunteer firefighter with a blue light on his personal vehicle being lumped into the same category as an immature teen (at 20, he's still basically a teen).
                            Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                            Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
                              This says it all!



                              This says what all?


                              It sounds like gun control blaming a death on a gun... Guns don't kill people, people kill people.

                              Comment

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