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Fire truck, police cruiser damaged in separate accidents in Manchester

MANCHESTER - A fire truck and a police cruiser were involved in separate traffic accidents about three hours apart Saturday, authorities said.

The ladder truck could be out of service for up to two weeks after it collided with a car while returning from a call about 5:40 p.m., according to District Fire Chief Al Poulin.

Police Lt. Michael Hurley said he doesn't expect police to issue any citations.

"At this point, it looks like the driver of the fire truck is going to be found at fault," Hurley said.

The fire truck had just turned left from Harrington Avenue to go north on Calef Road when the crash occurred, he said, adding there is a stop sign on Harrington Street.

He said "weather did probably play a small role in the accident."

Meanwhile, a police cruiser with its emergency lights and siren activated collided with another vehicle at Beech and Bridge streets about 8:45 p.m., Hurley said.

Officer Michael Valenti was responding to an urgent call while heading south on Beech Street and collided with a 2003 Hyundai Accent driven by Joanne Lafleur, 63, of Weare, traveling west on Bridge Street. Lafleur was alone in her vehicle. Both drivers reported minor injuries. Both vehicles sustained front-end damage.

It was snowing at the time of the collision, Hurley said.

No one was taken to the hospital in either accident.

Poulin said the fire truck, which is based at the Merrimack Street headquarters, turned on to Calef Road.

A woman driving a car south on Calef Road "came up over the crest of the hill, couldn't stop and slid into the truck," Poulin said. "It was snowing pretty intensely; the ground was slick."

The front of the car ended up under the bumper of the fire truck, he said.

The fire truck's bumper was dented on the driver side, and it might take one to two weeks to acquire and install a replacement, he said.

A ladder truck from the Mammoth Road station will replace the damaged truck. Poulin said the accident is not expected to affect response times.

Trace Adkins
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