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Fire truck crashes through brick art gallery

Posted at 6:21 PM, Jun 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-22 19:21:12-04
The Omaha Fire department has one less working fire truck after it struck an SUV and a building downtown at 16th and Leavenworth Wednesday.
 
Despite suffering minor injuries, the four firefighters got out and rendered aid to the other driver who was taken to the hospital in serious condition. 
 
The crash happened at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
 
Witnesses say a white truck was speeding east on Leavenworth, driving around traffic and didn't yield to a northbound fire engine.
 
The rig T-boned the truck and crashed through the brick wall of an art gallery.
 
The owner of the gallery was inside at the time.
 
"Yeah it scared him,” said Jay Davis, city building superintendent. “He was up in his office, he had just gone up to his office and he heard the original crash and all of a sudden realized the siren was inside of his building that's when he realized the truck was in there.”
 
Kristi Staiert manages a business across from the crash.
 
Staiert was eastbound on Leavenworth when the white truck sped around her, and failed to stop for the northbound fire truck, with its lights and sirens on, she tells KMTV.
 
"I've never seen that before in my life, never been a part of it,” Staiert said. “I was shaky for a long time after that. I ran, me and the guys in the work truck immediately stopped our cars, got out and ran over to make sure everybody was OK. The guy in the truck seemed pretty stunned.”
 
Battalion Chief Tim McCaw says despite being injured, firefighters rushed to the aid of the other driver, who was conscious and seriously hurt.
 
"Paramount is the safety of our citizen who was involved in the accident and also the safety of our firefighters, that citizen is quite injured and our thoughts and prayers go out to him,” McCaw said.
 
Leavenworth and 16th was closed for about seven hours. 
 
As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, the driver of the white truck remained in serious condition.