Fireman's sneezing fit may have caused truck crash

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 14, 2011 3:03 PM
Fireman's sneezing fit may have caused truck crash

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Mo (Reuters) - A firefighter in Springfield, Missouri was in hospital on Wednesday from injuries suffered when the fire truck he was driving rolled over and crashed -- possibly due to a sneezing fit.

Paul McGuire, 60, and two other fire fighters were en route to a training session last week when the truck drifted to the right after McGuire sneezed five or six times, according to police and fire reports.

One of the firefighters said he yelled to McGuire, but that he had a "blank stare on his face and was not responding," according to an interview in a fire marshal's report. McGuire lost control of the vehicle as it veered onto the highway median and rolled over.

All three firefighters were taken to the hospital and two were treated and released. But McGuire remained hospitalized, though is feeling better, Assistant Fire Chief Randy Villines said Wednesday. He has not yet been interviewed, Villines said.

The fire tuck is a considered a total loss, Villines said. The possible cause of the accident is unusual but perhaps understandable, he said.

"Anyone who has ever sneezed in a car knows what can happen," Villines said. Investigators are trying to determine if McGuire had some other physical impairment that made the bout of sneezing even more problematic, Villines said.

(Writing and reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Greg McCune)