Jurors in Longview will hear this morning that inadequate latches allowed two Kilgore firefighters in a whiplashing aerial bucket to break through its doors and fall to their deaths.
Design engineer Kirk Rosenhan, who has served on national firefighter equipment standards panels, also will testify a far superior latch was in common use in 2008 when Kilgore bought the fateful ladder truck for its fire department.
A training exercise in January 2009, weeks after taking delivery of the 95-foot ladder truck, cost the lives of firefighters Kyle Perkins and Cory Galloway. Perkins’ widow, Linda, her mother-in-law and the couple’s two children are suing the maker and retailer of the specialized firetruck.
The four-man, eight-woman jury will know what Rosenhan is talking about after seeing the ladder platform, or bucket, during a field trip Thursday afternoon to East Whaley Street, where it was parked.
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