BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A report by Maine state police says a 1930 fire truck was low on brake fluid when it crashed into an antique tractor, killing its operator, during the Fourth of July parade in Bangor, Maine.
State police technicians said the fire truck’s brake fluid reservoir was 4 inches deep but that there was only 1 inch of brake fluid in it. It also said the fluid was contaminated.
The fire engine’s operator, 29-year-old Bangor firefighter Patrick Heathcote, said the pumper lost its brakes entirely on a downhill incline. Technicians were able to replicate the brake loss under similar conditions.
The report says 63-year-old Wallace Fenlason of Holden was thrown from the tractor and was killed instantly when the fire truck drove over him.