A Lexington firefighter driving a city-owned engine truck failed to yield the right of way to a pedestrian he then struck and killed in a crosswalk at Main Street and South Broadway on Saturday, according to police documents.
The documents, released Thursday afternoon in response to a Herald-Leader open-records request, were the first to reveal who had the right of way when the accident occurred. Earlier, police and city officials would not say whether Lauren Roady was in the crosswalk or whether the pedestrian crossing signal indicated it was safe to cross.
An accident report and diagram revealed that Roady had a "walk" signal when she was crossing South Broadway at 10:04 p.m. Saturday. At the same time, the Lexington Division of Fire's Engine 9, which was being driven by Christopher Presley, was making a left turn from Main Street onto South Broadway.
The report noted that Roady, who was 5-foot-3 and 120 pounds, was wearing dark clothing and was "not visible." It was raining at the time.
Roady, 27, of Washington, D.C., came in contact with the left side of the fire truck as it was in mid-turn; she was run over by the vehicle's rear wheels, according to a diagram that shows the positions of the truck and pedestrian before, during and after the accident.
Presley was placed on paid, administrative leave during the investigation. His status was unchanged Thursday, city officials said.
Police released a statement, saying Presley probably would not face criminal charges.
"The results of the toxicology test and medical examiner's report are still pending, but at this time there is no information or evidence to indicate that criminal charges will be placed against the driver of the vehicle," the statement said.
Police typically do not file criminal charges in collisions an officer does not witness, unless there are obvious wanton or criminal factors, such as drunken driving.
Some questions were unanswered in the documents released Thursday. The accident report did not detail any factors that might have caused Roady not to see the turning truck. The 55,000-pound fire engine's lights and sirens were not activated because Presley was not en route to an emergency run, officials have said. The documents also did not specify that Presley had a green light. But, based on the timing of the signals at that intersection, Roady's walk signal and Presley's green light would have been activated at the same time.
According to the Kentucky Revised Statutes, turning vehicles — even those with a green light — must yield the right of way to "other vehicles and to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk."
Along with the accident report and diagram, police also released Presley's personnel file and 15 minutes of recorded radio traffic between police and emergency dispatchers on the night of the collision.
The dispatch recordings contained little new information about the accident. However, they detailed the confusion in the moments soon after Roady was hit.
A police officer first told the dispatcher a pedestrian had been hit by the fire truck. Without explanation, the report changed.
"It is not going to be a fire truck vs. pedestrian," an officer said. "It is going to be a hit and run."
Officers spent the next few minutes searching for a "gray passenger car" that allegedly was involved. It was unclear where that report came from. The completed accident report released Thursday did not mention another vehicle.
Lexington police's Collision Reconstruction Unit is still investigating; city officials have said they expect the investigation to be completed early next year.
State police have not been asked to help, said Sgt. Rick Saint-Blancard, the public affairs commander for Kentucky State Police.
Roady, an attorney, was competing in the Lexington USA Track & Field Club Cross Country Championships at Masterson Station Park. She was going to meet her teammates when the accident occurred.
According to the personnel file, Presley applied to become a firefighter in 2002 and was hired with a class of new recruits in January 2004. Presley has never faced a disciplinary action.
Presley noted on his application for the job he had three prior, unspecified traffic violations — one in 1990, one in 1992 and one in 1994 — for which he paid fines. He attended traffic school for the 1990 incident.
Josh Kegley: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.