Home Fire News Volunteer firefighter responding to call fatally strikes woman, injures man

Volunteer firefighter responding to call fatally strikes woman, injures man

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A Long Beach volunteer firefighter driving to a call early Saturday struck two pedestrians, killing a Lindenhurst woman and injuring her husband as they crossed the street, police said.

The 22-year-old firefighter, whose name was not released, was responding to a call about a house fire with the blue emergency lights of his 1999 Buick Century turned on, Nassau County police said.

Julia M. Morales, 57, and her husband, 60, were walking north across East Park Avenue around 12:30 a.m. after leaving the Half Moon Bar and Grill, Nassau County police said in a news release. The name of the man injured was not released.

The Buick, traveling west on East Park Avenue near Riverside Boulevard, struck the duo, police said. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene by an emergency medical technician, also from the Long Beach Fire Department.

The man was taken to a hospital in critical but stable condition, with injuries including a broken spine, lacerated kidney and multiple fractures, police said.

The Buick was impounded for a safety check. The investigation is ongoing, including whether the driver was speeding. An official said he was questioned at the scene and released.

The firefighter was responding to a report of smoke coming from a house, Long Beach Fire Commissioner Scott Kemins said. The call was found to be related to a backyard fire pit in the 200 block of West Market Street, about two blocks from the crash.

The firefighter was first heading to the nearby Long Beach fire station at City Hall.

Volunteer firefighters are generally trained to respond to the firehouse before going to a call. Volunteers are trained to operate their personal vehicles and required to follow all traffic laws, officials said.

Nassau police were investigating.

By John Asbury and Stefanie Dazio john.asbury@newsday.com, stefanie.dazio@newsday.com @JohnAsbury

John Asbury covers the Town of Hempstead and the City of Long Beach. He has been with Newsday since 2014 and previously covered crime for nine years for The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif.

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