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      Fire truck forced off road

      It took the Jefferson City Fire Department and three separate tow trucks nearly four hours to pull a fire truck from a ditch Monday afternoon.

      The incident occurred between 2:30 and 3:00 the intersection of Sue Drive and Schumate Chapel Road.

      Interim Fire Chief Jason Turner said the truck was being used for training.

      When turning south onto Schumate Chapel Road, the fire truck encountered an oncoming pick-up truck traveling on the wrong side of the road, swerved to avoid it, then tipped into the ditch.

      The vehicles didn't make contact, but firefighters watched as the pick-up stopped, looked back, then drove off.

      Turner said it's a total lack of responsibility by the driver, and the Jefferson City Police are investigating the incident.

      "They were on their side of the road, trying to avoid making contact with another vehicle, but in this case with no curve blind on the road, the large amount of water and rain that we have received over the last couple of days, softening the shoulder up would cause these trucks ...with that amount of weight 80,000 pounds is an issue," said Turner.

      A specialized tow truck was called in from Columbia to lift the fire truck back onto the road.

      The vehicle was able to be driven back to the station at Hyde Park and will undergo a top-to-bottom inspection before it's put back into service.

      Turner said it's important for drivers to remember to always be aware of emergency vehicles, and always give them plenty of space to pass even if their lights aren't flashing.