THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Off-duty officer’s SUV collides with firetruck

Both drivers are injured in Mattapan crash

The momentum of the crash in Mattapan caused the 110-foot ladder truck to swing around and knock over a traffic light. The crash tied up traffic around Harvard and Morton streets during yesterday’s rush hour. The momentum of the crash in Mattapan caused the 110-foot ladder truck to swing around and knock over a traffic light. The crash tied up traffic around Harvard and Morton streets during yesterday’s rush hour. (Yoon S. Byun/ Globe Staff)
By John M. Guilfoil
Globe Staff / April 6, 2011

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An off-duty Boston police officer on his way to work collided with a Boston firetruck responding to an emergency yesterday in Mattapan.

Boston Fire Department Ladder 29, based on Blue Hill Avenue, was on its way to a reported car accident and had its lights and siren activated at about 3:40 p.m.

When it reached the intersection of Harvard and Morton streets, it collided with a silver sport utility vehicle driven by the police officer, said Steve MacDonald, a spokesman for the Fire Department.

The momentum caused the 110-foot ladder truck to swing around and knock over a traffic light, MacDonald said.

State Police identified the firefighter driving the firetruck as Francis X. Tierney, 52, of Hyde Park, and the police officer as Darrell Vinson, 46, of Mattapan.

According to State Trooper Brian Tully, the firetruck was driving south on Harvard Street, and when it approached Morton Street, it was struck on the left side by Vinson’s 2004 GMC Envoy. Vinson suffered a serious leg injury, and Tierney suffered minor injuries, State Police said.

Vinson was taken to Boston Medical Center, and Tierney was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, The other three firefighters riding in the truck were uninjured.

There was no word on what caused the crash. Boston police are investigating.

The SUV, which is Vinson’s personal vehicle, was badly damaged and was towed away. The firetruck had front bumper damage from striking the traffic signal, MacDonald said.

Officials were waiting last night to cut power to the traffic light before they could tow the firetruck away. The crash tied up traffic in the area during yesterday’s rush hour.

Ladder 29 was manufactured by E-ONE of Ocala, Fla. It has been in service since 1995, MacDonald said. The department keeps a number of older ladder trucks in reserve, one of which will be used to fill in.

Martin Finucane of the Globe staff contributed to this report. John M. Guilfoil can be reached at jguilfoil@globe.com.