MILL CREEK - Five members of the Mill Creek Volunteer Fire Company were injured early Monday when the fire truck in which they were riding crashed at Routes 22 and 655.
The 2000 Pierce fire truck was traveling east on Route 22 at 1:17 a.m. when the driver, Mark Snyder, appeared to sustain a medical emergency and lost control of the vehicle, state police at Huntingdon said.
"The driver had a seizure - that was confirmed at the hospital," said Fire Chief Mike Swanger.
The fire truck left the roadway and struck a sign and traveled across Route 655 and drove into the Sip's Title Craft Inc. building, police said.
The incident occurred when the firefighters were returning from a reported kitchen fire in the Orbisonia area.
Assistant Chief Wayne Coughenour, who was sitting up front with Snyder, may have been a hero, Swanger said.
"The assistant chief saw him in a seizure and grabbed the steering wheel and probably saved their lives. He crashed into the building; if not, it would have gone down a more than a 200-foot embankment," Swanger said.
Snyder and Coughenour were taken to Altoona Regional Trauma Center by medical helicopter. Snyder was released while Coughenour was admitted with some fractures and a head injury, Swanger said.
Three others in the fire truck, Capt. Jason Chilcote and firefighters Tyler Scott and Cody Whitsel were treated at J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital in Huntingdon.
The fire truck, valued at about $350,000, is likely a total loss, Swanger said.
The investigation is continuing, police said.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.