A fire engine was forced to stop responding to an emergency when an oncoming motorist crossed the double yellow line, drove head-on toward the pumper, blocked it in, and refused to move before eventually colliding with it. The driver, who was operating a van which resembled an undercover police vehicle, even had the audacity to post his video (below) on his social media page which highlights bad drivers.
During the daytime of June 2, 2022, the Mombasha Fire Department in Monroe, NY was dispatched for natural gas actively leaking. This was considered a serious call since gas leaks cause explosions. The fire apparatus had pulled out of the station and was traveling on Route 17M with its red lights flashing and its siren and air horn steadily blaring when the driver apparently tried to provoke them.
In the video, the fire engine can clearly be seen and heard pulling out of their station. As they begin pulling out, the oncoming driver, who identified himself as Billy Bolatti on social media, begins crossing the double yellow line and blocks the center of the road. As the engine attempts to maneuver around Bolatti, he continues driving forward. The engine then stops in the middle of the road, followed by Bolatti stopping facing it.
As the fire apparatus sits stopped with the air horn emitting a long blast, Bolatti again starts driving head-on toward the rig. Bolatti stopped just a few feet from the engine’s front bumper. At that point, the engine could not go anywhere.
A voice could be heard screaming at Bolatti to back up. He refused to comply. The driver of the pumper made one last attempt to maneuver around Bolatti, but the two vehicles collided. Bolatti could then be heard on video blowing his horn and screaming.
Nobody was injured during the collision. According to a statement issued by the Mombasha Fire Company, Bolatti remained “extremely uncooperative” and “belligerent” after the collision.
“The actions of the other motorist that continued after the collision prevented our apparatus and firefighters from responding to the emergency,” stated a written statement issued by the Mombasha Fire Company. Another rig had to be sent to cover the first emergency.
The Monroe Police Department was called to the scene and took further action against the driver, although specific details are not available.
Bolatti was operating a grayish van that somewhat resembled an undercover police vehicle, but is not. In another photo obtained on social media, the front license plate was removed and replaced with a red-on-black tag that stated “Essential Worker”. The hubcaps were removed. Two LED spotlights were mounted near each side of the windshield. The rear, side windows were heavily tinted.
Fire department officials explained that the yellow stripes in the middle of the road are identified as “safety zones,” which act as imaginary boundaries. It is against traffic laws for motorists to drive over those lines. Emergency vehicles are permitted to travel in those zones when responding to an emergency. Traffic laws also mandate drivers to pull over and stop for an emergency vehicle, even if it is oncoming in the opposite lane.
Bolatti apparently posts videos on different social media sites highlighting bad drivers in New York State. He claims that he was simply trying to make a left turn and the fire engine “rammed” him.