SEATTLE — Just before 5:30 a.m., during a response to a previous collision on Interstate 5 in Federal Way, a South King Fire & Rescue Firefighter from Gig Harbor was critically injured when a southbound traveling automobile lost control and struck him.
Wynn Loiland, 52, suffered severe head and face injuries, a collapsed lung, and fractures. He was unconscious while being taken to Harborview Medical Center and is in critical but stable condition.
“This is the most serious incident we’ve had happen to any of our firefighters,” Deputy Chief Gordie Olson of South King Fire & Rescue told the Seattle Times.
At around 5:00 a.m. a black pickup truck traveling on Interstate 5 rolled over and came to a stop after hitting the left barrier near Kent, roughly twenty miles from Seattle. The two occupants of the automobile were not injured and had left the scene by the time Loiland, one other firefighter, and their Lieutenant arrived after being dispatched by South King Fire & Rescue. While the firefighters were investigating the scene of the crash a red Chevrolet Blazer lost control in the left-hand, southbound lane and struck Loiland while skidding into the right shoulder, narrowly missing his colleagues.
It is not believed that alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash – fog, slick roads, and speed are thought to be the main causes of the accident — though an investigation is ongoing.
According to the Seattle Times, Loiland’s wife and two sons were keeping vigil at Harborview and some of his colleagues had arrived at the hospital to offer support.