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Bel Air fire company ambulance damaged in N.J. crash

A fire department vehicle from Bel Air, MD, is pulled out of the woods after it was invoved in a collision with a car that overturned on Route 195 Eastbound at Exit 22 in Jackson Wednesday afternoon, February 14, 2018.
A fire department vehicle from Bel Air, MD, is pulled out of the woods after it was invoved in a collision with a car that overturned on Route 195 Eastbound at Exit 22 in Jackson Wednesday afternoon, February 14, 2018. (Thomas P. Costello/Asbury Park Press)

A Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company ambulance that been damaged in a crash earlier this month was involved in another crash Wednesday afternoon in New Jersey while being driven to the manufacturer for repairs.

“It was on its way to Jersey to get repaired when this happened,” Rich Gardiner, a spokesperson for the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association and member of Bel Air, said Friday.

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The crash happened along Interstate 195 in Jackson, N.J., Wednesday, a regional newspaper, the Asbury Park Press, reported. Jackson is in the central part of the state, about 30 miles east of the capital, Trenton.

The ambulance and a Hyundai, both traveling east, crashed. The Hyundai driver, Justin Liebman, 24, of Braselton, Ga., was hospitalized with “non-life-threatening injuries,” the Press reported, citing a New Jersey State Police spokesperson. The ambulance driver, Donald Hannah, 74, of Felton, Del., was not hurt, according to the Press.

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The crash remains under investigation, the New Jersey State Police spokesperson, Trooper Alejandro Goez, told The Aegis Friday. Police issued a ticket to Liebman for “careless driving,” Goez said.

The ambulance had already been damaged after crashing during icy weather while responding to call, Gardiner said.

That crash happened around 11 p.m. on Feb. 4 at Route 22 and Redfield Road, the Harford Fire Blog reported at the time.

The ambulance hit a patch of ice near The John Carroll School, slid off the road and crashed in the nearby woods, Gardiner said. He said nobody was hurt.

A contractor had been hired by DPC Emergency Equipment, of Marydel, Del., the firm that sold the ambulance to the fire company, to drive it back to the manufacturer for repairs, Gardiner said.

The manufacturing company, PL Custom, is in Manasquan, N.J., according to its website. Manasquan is on the New Jersey coast.

The loss of the ambulance has had “no impact” on Bel Air’s EMS responses, Gardiner said in a follow-up text message. A reserve unit was put in place — it is “too preliminary” to say when the damaged unit would be back in service since the crash happened last Wednesday, according to Gardiner.

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