WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – Firefighters inside a Westminster fire station were awoken to the sound of a vehicle crushing its way through their building Thursday morning. Westminster police said they were chasing the truck shortly before the vehicle crashed in to the fire station, killing two inside the truck that was evading officers.
Firefighters at Westminster Fire Station No. 2 told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas the crash sounded like an explosion, and startled most of the people inside. Due to an ongoing investigation involving the fire department’s property, firefighters who witnessed the incident were not able to give an official statement to CBS4.
However, a public information officer took CBS4’s Dillon Thomas inside the fire station to see the cleanup, and how close the crash came to hitting a sleeping firefighter. The truck, which was reported as stolen, crashed through a brick wall before sending bricks and glass in to the fire station’s living room. A firefighter was sleeping in his room only feet away from the living room wall. No firefighters were injured.
“I heard a loud crash, like a rumbling sound,” said Gene Atencio, a witness.
Atencio lives across the street from the fire department, and said he woke up to the sound of the roaring vehicle and crash just after 2 a.m.
“I looked out my window and that is when I (saw) there were a lot of cops,” Atencio said. “They had their weapons pointed at the truck, they were yelling at the truck for people to come out of the truck.”
Westminster police said they initially were following the truck after it failed to pull over. After utilizing stop sticks, the truck continued at a high rate of speed and police chased. However, as the truck approached a neighborhood the chase was slowed. Police said soon after the crash occurred.
“(The truck) was really beat up. I assume that truck was going very, very fast,” Atencio said.
Initial investigation suggested the truck hopped a curb and collided with a brick wall before spinning 180 degrees to face the direction it came from. Tire tracks were left in the dirt where the truck drove.
“I prayed, hoping that the people inside the truck were still alive. But as the police approached the truck it became obvious they did not survive,” Atencio said.
Atencio, and some firefighters, expressed sadness in knowing the man and woman inside the truck were killed. However, given the nature of the crash, many said they were happy no innocent bystanders were killed.
“Thankfully, to the good Lord up above, nobody else got hurt,” Atencio said. “Thankfully the truck didn’t come on this other side of the street. If it had, it would have crashed in to my house.”
Westminster police have not released the names of the people inside the truck.