TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas -- Ten people -- including four Lake Travis firefighters -- were hospitalized Wednesday afternoon after a fire truck and seven other vehicles were involved in a crash in the 5900 block of FM 620, according to the Austin Fire Department.
One firefighter, William Tatsch, is set to be released on Saturday.
According to the DPS, the firefighter driving suffered a medical emergency and lost consciousness. The fire truck drove into the northbound lanes and struck five other vehicles before rolling onto its right side. The driver, identified Thursday morning as engineer Tatsch, is a 17-year veteran of Lake Travis Fire Rescue. According to the Lake Travis Firefighters Association, he had no history of medical emergencies in his two decades with the department.
In a tweet, @LTfirefighters wrote that doctors said this "was an extremely rare case of a presumed vasovagal syncope.”
The Lake Travis Firefighters Association said Lt. Rachel Zambrano, who is a 19-year veteran, was riding on the side of the engine during the crash. She suffered from a concussion and needed seven stitches to her forehead. Firefighters Brian Baker and Joel Niemeyer -- both with ESD6 for 11 years -- were treated for minor injuries.
“We look forward to a thorough investigation of this collision and the medical emergency Engineer Tatsch suffered,” said Jason Sawyer, Lake Travis Firefighters president, in a statement. “But our primary concern now is with civilians who were involved in the collision, their families, and the health of the four LT firefighters who were injured.”
Austin-Travis County EMS said multiple emergency assets responded to the scene of the crash. ATCEMS said two of the eight patients were transported to the hospital with serious, potentially life-threatening injuries and the other eight went to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The Texas Department of Transportation said FM 620 remained closed at Comanche Trail for several hours while crews cleared wreckage and restored traffic signals.
The 100 Club of Central Texas said it will be responding to the injuries of the firefighters and will be in touch with the department to provide financial support to the firefighters and their families in the coming days.