South King Co. firefighter hit by car at scene of rollover crash



Posted on November 20, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 21 at 1:46 PM

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - Sunday was a tough day for firefighters in South King County.

"You just never know what you're going to run into,” said Chief Al Church.

These guys are used to long days and unpredictable calls but they weren't prepared for the one they got early Sunday.

"Very devastating to everybody, everybody is very concerned for Wynn,” said Church.

Thirty-year veteran Wynn Loiland and his crew got a call early Sunday. There had been an accident on southbound I-5 near the 272nd on-ramp.

"The crew stopped to check on a vehicle that had rolled over,” said Church.

"It was definitely slick out,” said WSP Trooper Julie Startup.

"It was very foggy, very icy,” said Church.

No one was hurt and the scene was cleared.

"But Wynn being the consummate professional that he is marked the area off so other knew that this vehicle -- knew that this area had already been checked,” said Church.

And that's when the second accident happened.

The driver hit a slippery spot in the HOV crossing -- hitting Loiland in the exact same spot where the original accident happened.

"Just a little too fast through that area to make it safely,” said Startup.

Loiland suffered severe head and facial injuries, a collapsed lung, and a broken arm. His wife and two adult sons sit as his bedside at Harborview Medical Center.

"It hurts trying to make sense of it and it's hard to pull together but we have to because at any time the bell could hit and our people could be out trying to save somebody else,” said Church.

Firefighters from all around are praying that Loiland makes a full recovery.

"I can't wait to see him on a fire engine again and that's what we're hoping and praying for and knowing Wynn that's what he'll be doing that,” said Church.

The State Patrol is investigating this as an accident. They believe the driver simply lost control of his car. They urge drivers however to take it slower than usual during icy conditions.