Tools

Woman hit by fire truck defends herself and wins suit against City of Utica

By By PAT BAILEY

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Elena Glinski says she was not at fault when a Utica fire truck sideswiped her vehicle last October while responding to a fire call.

On Tuesday, Glinski won a civil suit in court after defending herself.

In city court on Tuesday, Glinski argued that after she was hit on South Street in Utica, no one stopped to see if she, or her son who was in the car, were all right.

Glinski says that despite the crew responding to a fire call on Neilson Street, the truck operator - Ryan Marchese of the Utica Fire Department - should have stopped or at least called in the accident.

Glinski says she was told by police officers that she was the only one to call in the accident. Glinski says she was legally parked on South Street at a red light and had no room to back up to let the fire truck get by as it turned onto the street.

Luke Davignon, an attorney hired by the city's insurance company, argued that the law states all drivers must yield to an emergency vehicle, and that they are not at fault if an accident occurs while responding to a call.

Marchese testified that the fire trucks lights and sirens were both in use.

Glinski, who represented herself because she could not afford an attorney, said she was informed by Attorney Anthony Brindisi that there were exceptions to the law.

"The minor damage (her car suffered) does not establish the reckless care the plaintiff has to prove," said Davignon.

"We were used as a human speed bump with no regard to safety," Glinski told Judge Albert Alteri.

Glinski was awarded $2,217.90 to make repairs to her vehicle. She had not yet repaired the car since the October accident. The money will be paid out by the City of Utica's insurance company.

Before making his ruling Tuesday, Judge Alteri asked Marchese if he misjudged the turn onto South Street, and if so, if the accident could have been avoided.

Marchese responded by saying "yes."

"I am not looking to get rich," Glinksi said. "I am just a single mother who works two jobs trying to get my car paid for."

What's On