Those who are easily upset by stories of government ineptitude should click away from this story now.
North Merrick, NY Fire Chief James Allen has been serving the city for 20 years. He's seen a lot in his life, but never has he seen anything like this. While responding to a crash on a major NY freeway last week, while using his official fire department vehicle, he was given a ticket by a state trooper for blocking a lane of traffic. No joke:
Responding to a crash on the Meadowbrook Parkway Wednesday morning, Allen was given a ticket for blocking the right lane of traffic with his department SUV.
"He stopped me from going to take care of the patient and asked me for license and registration," Allen told PIX 11 News. " I immediately gave him my license out of my pocket went and took care of the patient."
The woman in this car was seriously injured. Her vehicle was in the center lane of the parkway, the same lane the trooper stopped in.
"There was no reason for anyone to be coming on either side of us, the conditions were too dangerous," said Allen.
Ironically, a new law was recently passed to protect emergency responders, requiring motorists to move over one lane when they see flashing lights.
"It was one of his fellow troopers that got killed and that's what the law was made for," said Allen.
So far, state police aren't backing off, Allen is due in court next month, and it will be up to a judge to decide who made the right call.
“It wasn’t safe," Allen further explained to the Merrick Patch. "The weather this morning wasn’t good and cars were slipping and sliding all over the place. I had a victim and I was trying to make it as safe as possible. I have to keep my guys safe too." Pictures from the accident scene confirm bad road conditions:
Still, Allen said the trooper threatened to have him arrested at one point if he didn't move his vehicle. But apparently cooler heads prevailed and the trooper went with the much more reasoned citation.
It gets better, though. According to a trooper spokesman, the admitted reason for insisting the emergency vehicle move was to avoid a bad traffic situation.
Yes, you did just read that an official emergency vehicle was ticked while responding to a crash with serious injuries because the trooper didn't want bad traffic. And now, taxpayers have to pay for the two to fight it out in court.
I told you you should have clicked away.