A Miami firefighter will face a 96-hour suspension for “violating department policy,” the result of running a red light and crashing into a fire truck in August, Assistant Fire Chief Pete Gomez said Monday.
“This is a very harsh punishment,” Gomez said. “The fire chief is sending a very loud message that you will be held accountable if you operate in an unsafe manner.”
Gomez said the fire truck was "legally" heading to a fire when firefighter Gustavo Alzate went through the intersection without stopping. The crash happened Aug. 11 at Northwest 12th Avenue and 14th Street, just outside Jackson Memorial Hospital.
He is the one who ran the red light
Assistant Fire Chief Pete Gomez
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The rescue truck was on a separate call and was carrying two other firefighters, two young children and their grandmother.
All told, 12 people were left with non-life-threatening injuries in a violent collision that witnesses in the surrounding hospital district described as a scene from a movie. The front end of the fire rescue truck was mangled, and the fire truck was sent spinning over a curb and landed on its side.
Gomez said Alzate could have avoided the crash.
“He is the one who ran the red light,” Gomez said.
The city’s policy calls for the driver to slow down and make sure the intersection is safe before entering.
“He failed to do that,” Gomez said.