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Stanislaus Firefighters Hurt In Crash Released From Hospital

Sonora, CA – The last two of the five Stanislaus firefighters injured in a wreck last weekend are now recovering at home.

As previously reported, 53-year-old Maria Constable of Fresno was attempting to pass fire engine 346 in an SUV on Highway 168, near Clovis. The SUV collided with the engine’s side door, according to the CHP, and the impact forced the fire truck and SUV off the road. Both overturned several times.  Firefighter Derek Soden and Ben Jongeward sustained the most serious injuries and were taken to Community Regional Hospital in Fresno. Released from that hospital on Wednesday, there is no estimated time for their recovery, according to Stanislaus National Forest officials.

The other three firefighters, Lee Sands, Brittany Dowden and Ryan Baker, were treated and released from Saint Agnes Hospital the day of the crash.  However, Sands had to be readmitted and kept in the hospital until Monday for follow up care.

Stationed out of Hodgden Meadow, the firefighters had been working on the Sierra National Forest due to increased lightning activity and potential for lightning-caused wildfires, say forest officials.