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December 7, 2011

Patrol car hits, injures Idaho firefighter

By Ruth Brown
Idaho Falls Post Register

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — A Jefferson County sheriff's deputy's patrol car struck a volunteer firefighter during a response to a fire report Tuesday.

Deputy Caleb Sickinger and Benjamin Charles Poston, 61, of Roberts, were both responding to a report of a down power line at 6:26 a.m. Poston tried to flag down Sickinger but did not see him, Jefferson County Sheriff Blair Olsen said.

The deputy administered first aid after emergency medical assistance was dispatched. Poston was taken by ambulance to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. He was reported in "fair" condition Tuesday, EIRMC spokeswoman Holly Gyles said.

Sickinger's vehicle's headlights were pointed toward oncoming traffic and Poston was wearing dark clothing, making it hard to see Poston, Olsen said.

The accident occurred at 2878 E. 650 North in Roberts. The investigation is ongoing and the Idaho State Police is leading the probe.

"We are still investigating the reason (Poston) was trying to flag (Sickinger)," Olsen said.

Olsen will not know what kind of charges Sickinger could face until the investigation is completed. Sickinger had not been charged with any crime as of Tuesday.

Despite the accident, the Roberts Fire Department was able to solve the problem with the power line. Officials were not positive what caused the line - located in an alley off Main Street - to come down but believe a commercial truck struck the line, Sheriff's spokeswoman Mickey Eames said.

The line was not on fire when first responders arrived but several homes and the Roberts City Hall lost power for more than two hours before it was restored, Olsen said.

Copyright 2011 The Post Register

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