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‘Slow down’ firefighters urge after ‘near miss’ on Route 288

POWHATAN COUNTY, Va. -- State police said a driver has been charged in a two-vehicle crash on Route 288 firefighters called a "near miss" Wednesday morning.

Sgt. Keeli L. Hill with Virginia State Police said troopers were dispatched at 5:39 a.m.

"The preliminary investigation reveals that a Ford Explorer with Powhatan Fire/EMS was located in the left lane with it's emergency lights activated preparing to clear the scene from a previous crash," Hill said. "A 2001 Chevrolet 4-door, driven by, Adrian Phillingame, 61, of North Chesterfield, Va. was traveling northbound and struck the Ford Explorer in the rear, resulting in Phillingame's vehicle overturning in a median on the left side of the roadway."

Hill said the male driver of the Ford Explorer was transported to an area hospital with minor injuries.

Phillingame, who was trapped in his vehicle, was transported to an area hospital with serious injuries.

The 61-year-old was charged with reckless driving.

Firefighters urged drivers use caution after that driver flipped his vehicle while passing another crash scene on Route 288, Powhatan County Fire and Rescue reported.

Firefighters were initially called to Route 288 and Huguenot Trail after a driver struck a deer.

"An Engine Company, a Medic unit, and a command vehicle along with multiple law enforcement units were in the process of clearing up [the first crash scene] when a vehicle traveled past the blocking Engine and struck the stationary command vehicle that was occupied by a single Powhatan County Fire & Rescue personnel," a Powhatan County Fire and Rescue spokesperson said. "The vehicle proceeded to roll several times and landed in the median. The driver of this vehicle had to be extricated by firefighters."

"PLEASE remember to slow down or move over when you see us working on the roadway," the fire spokesperson said in a Facebook post. "We are extremely lucky in this instance as the Fire & Rescue personnel had just gotten back into the vehicle seconds before it was struck."

Earlier this month Hanover Fire Lt. Brad Clark was killed when a tractor trailer hit his firetruck as Clark and other firefighters were helping other drivers involved in a crash.