16 Jul 2020
AZ Family reports that the relative of a family that was killed in a crash with a Phoenix Fire Department fire engine in April of this year has filed a $25 million lawsuit for negligence against the city of Phoenix.
Court records indicate that the suit was filed by the surviving family members of Kenneth “Chase” Collins, 20. Dariana Serrano, 19, and their 4-month-old infant. The young couple and their baby were killed when a fire engine collided with their pickup truck at the intersection of Bethany Home Road and 29th Avenue on April 7th.
The fire engine, which held three firefighters at the time of the crash, rolled several times and ended up in a field. All three firefighters were injured in the accident but survived their injuries, including the driver of the fire engine, Paul Kalkbrenner. Paul Kalkbrenner is the nephew of Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner.
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The suit alleges that Kalkbrenner was negligent behind the wheel of the emergency vehicle and that his negligence ultimately caused the deaths of the young family. Documents filed with the court further state that Kalkbrenner was driving the fire engine westbound on Bethany Home Road at an excessive rate of speed and that he failed to take proper evasive action when it made a left turn in front of the pickup truck.
Initial investigation of the crash revealed that the fire truck was allegedly responding to a fire emergency. The full accident report, however, has not been publically released by authorities and it is unclear what code the emergency was designated with, or if the fire engine had its sirens and lights engaged at the time of the fatal crash.