LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC)– The firefighter whose arm was severed when a tractor-trailer collided with his fire engine on the Capital Beltway in late January is at home recovering after an extended medical stay that included a surgery to reattach his arm.
Lt. Ryan Emmons of the West Lanham Hills Volunteer Fire Department was in critical condition in a Baltimore hospital immediately following the accident but was able to return home Monday, according to the department’s Facebook page.
The department has set up a contribution account for the lieutenant. Anyone interested in donating should make checks payable to WLHVFD c/o Ryan Emmons. Contributions should be mailed to WLHVFD, PO Box 1348, Lanham, Md. 20703 or made via Paypal.
The surgeon who performed Emmons’ surgery is the same doctor who successfully completed a double-arm transplant for a wounded soldier at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in January, according to the department’s website.
Three other firefighters in the crash were treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital.
The accident occurred on Jan. 30 just before 3 a.m. on Interstate 495 south of U.S. 50 in Prince George’s County. Its severity and extensive cleanup efforts closed several lanes in both directions of the Beltway for much of the day. All lanes in both directions were reopened just after 4 p.m.
Prince George’s County fire officials said firefighters from the West Lanham Hills station were called out to assist Maryland State Police with a minor accident on I-495 at about 2:30 a.m.
Once the scene of that accident was cleared, investigators said the firetruck tried to use the emergency vehicle access to make a U-turn along I-495. As the firetruck slowed to make the U-turn it was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer, causing both trucks to flip over and strike an SUV on other side of the highway, with parts of the trucks slamming through the Jersey barrier. The SUV also overturned.
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