Fire Department crash

A Billings Fire Department Battalion Chief vehicle and a Ford Mustang collided head on at Montana Avenue and Division Street Sunday evening. The drivers of both cars were transported to the hospital.

A Billings Fire Department battalion chief injured in a two-vehicle car crash involving department vehicle early Sunday evening was released from the hospital later that night, according to BFD Fire Chief Bill Rash.

The crash that injured the battalion chief happened at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday on Montana Avenue near Division Street. The driver of the other vehicle was taken to a local hospital for treatment in addition to the battalion chief.

"We anticipate he'll be back to work by his next shift, so that's good," Rash said Monday afternoon. Rash described the battalion chief as "a little sore" but "in good spirits."

"Fortunately it wasn't any worse," Rash said.

It appeared initially that the crash happened when a passenger car crossed into oncoming traffic and struck a BFD pickup truck head-on, according to the Billings Police Department. Speed appeared to be a factor in the crash, Sgt. Ben Milam said while at the scene Sunday.

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Milam declined to discuss the extent of injuries to either person but did confirm they were both awake after the crash.

While the battalion chief is expected to return to work, it's unclear whether the department's Dodge three-quarter-ton pickup will remain in use.  

Rash said he believed the vehicle was a 2018 model. The truck is equipped with a canopy and typically carries equipment in the back and has additional equipment in the cabin. 

"Most of that did not appear to be damaged, but there was definitely some extensive structural damage to the pickup itself," Rash said. 

Until it's determined whether or not the pickup is repairable or totaled, Rash said the department will rely on an older truck with about 144,000 miles to serve as its command vehicle. 

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