Seven people, including four firefighters, were injured when a tractor trailer struck a fire engine on the beltway in Prince George's County Wednesday morning.
Police say the driver of the fire engine was attempting to make a U-turn when the collision occurred.
Although no charges have been filed, police say the driver of the tractor trailer was not at fault.
The wreck forced police to close the beltway for a period of time, and when some lanes were reopened, the backup extended for miles.
"At this point, we believe in the early morning hours, approximately 2:40 a.m., a fire engine was dispatched to I-495 southbound near Route 50 to assist Maryland State Police with a minor vehicle accident," said Lt. Bill Alexander with Prince George's County Police. "The fire engine arrived at the scene of that accident and quickly determined there were no injuries, and (as) they cleared the scene, at this time, preliminarily, we believe the fire engine (was) heading southbound … to make a U-turn at an emergency vehicle turnaround. We believe that they slowed and were making that turn when they were struck from behind by the tractor trailer."
Police say emergency vehicles can use the turn around even when not on an emergency call.
Traffic was tied up throughout the morning rush hour and all throughout the midday as police conducted an investigation.
At the West Lanham Hills fire station, the home of Engine 28, no one wanted to talk about the accident or any of the firefighters who were on board.
All of them are volunteers.
Three of the injured firefighters were treated and released. The fourth, a 29-year-old man, is still in a Baltimore hospital where surgeons have reattached his severed right arm.
The conditions of three others, including the driver of the tractor trailer, remain unclear.
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