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Local News

Driver Hits Fire Engine After Suffering Heart Attack Near La Cumbre Plaza

Firefighters in right place at right time to quickly administer aid after collision at busy State Street intersection

Santa Barbara County firefighters assist a motorist who suffered an apparent heart attack and crashed into their truck at the intersection of State Street and Hope Avenue near La Cumbre Plaza. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara County firefighters assist a motorist who suffered an apparent heart attack and crashed into their truck at the intersection of State Street and Hope Avenue near La Cumbre Plaza. (Jon Shafer photo)

A man who had an apparent heart attack while driving in Santa Barbara on Saturday crashed into a fire engine after passing out in a busy intersection.

Fortunately for the driver, the fire truck was staffed with medically trained personnel, who immediately set to work to assist him.

The incident occurred at about 10:50 a.m. at State Street and Hope Avenue near La Cumbre Plaza, according to Santa Barbara Fire Battalion Chief Mike De Ponce.

He said the driver was northbound on Hope, beginning to make a left turn onto westbound State, when he apparently went into cardiac arrest.

The man passed out, and his Porsche convertible collided with a vehicle that was waiting to turn left onto northbound Hope, then ricocheted into Santa Barbara County Fire Engine 15, which also was waiting at the red light, De Ponce said.

The engine crew “jumped right out, grabbed their medical gear, and went to work assisting the patient,” he said.

The man, whose name was not released, was taken by American Medical Response ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Details on his condition were not available.

Both eastbound lanes and one westbound lane of State Street were closed briefly for a time.

De Ponce said the county fire truck had only cosmetic damage.

Santa Barbara police are investigating the incident.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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