ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOV) -- Investigators say a sleepy driver crashed into a Central County fire truck in St. Peters, causing $80,000 worth of damage.
Officials said the truck, which cost about $1 million, was rear-ended as it left an emergency scene Friday along I-70 near the Mid Rivers Mall. A driver, fire officials said, admitted he fell asleep at the wheel.
Fire officials say the wreck is an example of a growing problem on the roads.
“It seems vehicles are faster and, at night, drivers are tired and falling asleep and impaired. It’s to the point, we’re always very cautious, but we need someone in back to watch crews and make sure no one is hurt,” said Steve Brown, assistant chief of the Central County Fire Department.
And now protection becomes the bigger issue for the department.
The 32-ton truck will be sent to Wisconsin for four months for repairs, leaving the 70-square mile fire district in St. Charles County with only one truck.
“It takes a while to get from one end of the district to the other, so if we have a call on the other end it will take a while to get there,” said Brown. “This will hamper rescue efforts in multi-story buildings and large industrial complexes.”
Central County fire officials say if they need a truck for an emergency, they have mutual-aid agreements with other departments to use their hook and ladder.
The bigger problem that seems harder to solve is getting drivers to be careful around fire trucks.