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Video: Four Collisions In Downpour Send Five to Hospital

Update: Chain of accidents occurred on Highway 24 eastbound in Orinda, several hundred feet east of Wilder Road.

Updated, 3:20 p.m. Sunday, details from fire department.

The hydroplaning of cars in a downpour Sunday morning resulted in a series of four collisions on eastbound Highway 24 in Orinda, sending five people to the hospital.

Several of those injured were pedestrians who had emerged from their vehicles on the side of the highway several hundred feet east of Wilder Road on the highway. The injuries were moderate to serious, said CHP Sgt. Scott Siria.

The victims included three firefighters from the Moraga-Orinda Fire District.

After a couple of earlier accidents at 9 a.m. Sunday, a MOFD truck was parked in a righthand lane of eastbound Highway 24, protecting the damaged cars in the road further ahead. A car on the highway lost control, striking the fire engine. That was a non-injury accident, Fire Chief Randy Bradley reported in a MOFD news release.

While firefighters were on the shoulder interviewing the driver of the car from that accident, an SUV clipped the fire truck, causing the SUV to flip on its roof and skid into the three firefighters and the driver of the earlier collision. The driver from the earlier collision had critical injuries, Bradley said.

The firefighters were in serious but stable condition Sunday afternoon with non-life-threatening injuries, Bradley said. Two firefighters will require surgery.

The injured firefighters were:

  • Capt. Michael Rattary, a seven-year veteran.
  • Kelly Morris, a nine-year veteran firefighter-paramedic.
  • Stephen Rogness, a four-year veteran firefighter.

ABC7 News has video from the scene.

The first accident in the series was an Acura in the fast lane striking the concrete barrier between eastbound and westbound, and careening toward the right shoulder and striking a Toyota, Siria said. The driver of the Acura was transported to the hospital.

Siria said it was apparent that several vehicles were going too fast for the rain slick conditions in the series of accidents. The investigation continues.

The five victims were taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek.

Only one lane of eastbound Highway 24 was open for two hours backing up traffic to the tunnel. The accident scene was cleaned up about 11 a.m. and all lanes were re-opened.

The first collision occurred around 9 a.m. Sunday..


TMoraga December 03, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Highway 24 has always been fun to watch on rainy days - the water will build up on the road the farther down the hill you get and people see the wide open run and hammer it. Speed vs lots of water not a good combo. Hope the drivers who hit the emergency vehicles get cited for speeding and get charged for the damages.
Onions and Opinions Make You Cry December 04, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Any updates on the more seriously injured person? I hope that driver is ok.
Theindentured December 05, 2012 at 03:49 AM
One thing that I have come to depend on from the patch is Steve Cohan and his cronies makeing comments whenever your fire department is brought up. Comments alonge the lines of your firefighters are lazy, overpaid and responsible for all the ills that have befallen the poor citizens of Orinda. Where are you Steve? Thank you Quick Facts for your support. Because of people like you the brave men and women of MOFD will continue to proudly serve you with distinction.
Robert December 08, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Diana Stephens 3:52 pm on Saturday, September 22, 2012 Actually, MOFD's firefighters are EMTs over 90% of the time, and being an EMT is no more "strenuous and dangerous" than logging trees, PG&E wire crews, scuba divers, haz mat teams, and teachers (in certain schools . . . and they need a minimum 5 year degree,) etc. Although as a former classroom teacher, I always grudgingly admired the chutzpah shown by the firefighters union in getting their members such incredibly generous pay and benefit packages.
Robert December 08, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Reprint comments from a member of the Orinda Task Force on September 22, 2012.

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