“We want to prevent this from happening again” Witnesses describe fatal collision between fire truck and biker in Baltimore as lawyers call for solutions

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) – WJZ examined emergency dispatch calls that went out just before 7:30 p.m. Thursday when a fire truck collided with a biker in the Carrollton Ridge neighborhood of southwest Baltimore in Pratt and Payson. He was first reported as a pedestrian struck.

Witnesses told WJZ investigator Mike Hellgren that the rider was dragged several feet. His shoe was left in the middle of West Pratt Street. “He was just driving down the street for real. I guess he wasn’t paying attention.

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The fire engine was pulling on the horn and struck him directly. His head was under the tire. It dragged him across the whole street, ”said an eyewitness who spoke on camera but declined to give his name.

“Did the truck have its siren on?” Hellgren asked. “It was hitting the horns. Definitely does its job, ”said the witness. He noted that loved ones showed up almost immediately. “Once we told them it was him under that white sheet, they started to cry.”

Another witness told Hellgren the scene was horrific, something he will never forget.

“You can lose your life in a second for real. It’s crazy,” he said. “Shocking. That’s how I felt. Shocking. I haven’t seen anything like it. I see gun violence almost every day, but something like that, I’ve never seen anything like it. .

The fire truck was heading for a call at this time. Advice was provided to those affected.

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Mountain bikes have long been a part of Baltimore culture, even though they are illegal on city streets. The mayor tells WJZ it’s about more than law enforcement.

“Our police department is constantly engaged with off-road motorcycles. It’s much deeper than that. It’s about how we work with motorcyclists and get them to do it in a controlled and safe place, ”said Mayor Brandon Scott. He also called what happened a “tragedy” but said he was unable to speak to specific details of an “ongoing investigation”.

Brittany Young with the nonprofit B-360 is working with cyclists and trying to build a permanent fleet of off-road motorcycles. She managed to secure temporary space for passengers in the parking lot of the B&O Railroad Museum.

“People should think of this as someone’s child, someone’s brother, someone’s sister,” Young told Hellgren. “It’s something I’ve been saying for years was going to happen, and I don’t like to be right in these situations.”

She said bikers need their own space and shouldn’t be criminalized – and highlighted efforts to create safe spaces for skateboarders. “What we are not looking for are people who point fingers and blame the rider, but rather to empathize and give this family some time to mourn.”

You can learn more about B-360 here.

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