Woman hospitalized after crashing into Aurora Fire Department vehicle

AURORA, Colo. -- A woman was injured Sunday after crashing into an Aurora Fire Department vehicle, the Aurora Police Department said.

The crash happened at Havana Street and Alameda Boulevard. Emergency crews were forced to remove the roof of the vehicle to get the woman into an ambulance.

The victim, later identified as 65-year-old Freda Adjei of Aurora, does not have life-threatening injuries, police said.

Traffic was impacted at the busy intersection for about an hour, as investigators interviewed witnesses and crews cleared the scene.

The site was cleared before 5 p.m. Police said lights and sirens were engaged when Aurora Battalion Chief Jon Hill entered the intersection on a red light. He was hit by the injured woman’s older-model Toyota Corolla.

"I was in the gas station and heard a big bang,” Giavanni Miles said. “I walked outside to a tragic accident. It was bad."

At the time of the crash, fire crews were rushing to an auto parts store on East Colfax Avenue on reports of a car driving into the building.

Police said the battalion chief found himself in heavy traffic as he headed north toward the intersection of Havana and Alameda.

"Sounds like the battalion chief was doing everything reasonable and prudent when he was running code three,” police Lt. Michael McClelland said. "Sometimes when traffic is really heavy and people might have their radio on or they're not paying attention -- and they see that green light -- they just proceed through."

The impact knocked the woman unconscious. Police said she didn't wake up until after arriving at the hospital.

Federal government statistics show roughly 30,000 crashes happen every year involving on-duty firefighters.

"Please be aware of what's going on around you at all times,” McClelland said. “Don't just assume that everything is just normal. Watch out for anything that might happen."

The battalion chief was taken to the hospital as a precaution. He was not injured. The woman was responsive as of Sunday night and is waiting on results of a CAT scan.