Fire captain seriously injured in collision

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PHOENIX -- A Phoenix Fire Department captain is in critical condition after a multi-vehicle wreck Monday evening.

Fire captain critical

Firefighter injured in wreck - 3TV's first reports on a serious crashed that injured a Phoenix firefighter.

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At approximately 6 p.m. Monday, a fire truck en route to a house fire was traveling eastbound on Dunlap Avenue near Interstate 17 with the emergency lights and sirens activated.

According to Michelle Miller with the Phoenix Fire Department, the fire truck entered the intersection of Dunlap Avenue and the access road when a sedan traveling northbound hit the truck near the captain's door.

Witnesses said the truck was forced over the median and into traffic sitting at the stoplight.

Miller said a total of 11 vehicles were involved in the original and secondary collisions.

The captain, Crystal Rezzonico, reportedly was sitting in the front passenger seat. The force of the collision threw her from the truck.

"This is probably one of the worst accidents I've ever seen," said Erin Leach, who saw the whole thing. "You never think a fire truck is going to be involved in an accident like this."

Rezzonico suffered serious head trauma and was unconscious when she was rushed to John C. Lincoln Hospital where she underwent emergency surgery.

Rezzonico is in critical but stable condition. Her family reports that doctors have given her a good prognosis for recovery.

Miller said 10 civilians were treated for injuries.

The driver of the sedan was transported to a hospital and underwent surgery for serious injuries.

All other injuries were minor.

The rest of the firefighters were treated, either at the scene or at the hospital, and released.

Rezzonico began her career with the Phoenix Fire Department in 1991 and has been a captain for three years.

Dunlap Avenue remained closed all night and into the early morning hours.

Crews finally removed the fire truck from the scene just after 6 a.m. Tuesday. The truck will be weighed and tested as part of an accident reconstruction.

The incident is under investigation by the Phoenix Police Department.