Motorcyclist hit by firetruck returning after battling fire

Chief said truck had been at a fire in District Township

Motorcyclist hit by fire truck returning after battling fire

WASHINGTON TWP., Pa. - A Berks County motorcyclist is in critical condition after being struck by a fire truck early Friday morning, officials said.

Jarad Kulp, 31, of Bechtelsville, was reportedly thrown from his Harley Davidson motorcycle after being hit by an Eastern Berks Fire Department truck on Old Route 100 in Washington Township.

According to police, Kulp pulled in front of the truck while leaving a side parking lot at Bandit's Public House and Inn.

"Out of nowhere... and the driver of the truck did everything he could to avoid it, but [Kulp] was in our route of travel. It was just unavoidable. It's just a tragedy," said Deputy Chief Chris Schaeffer, who was riding in the passenger seat when the crash occurred shortly before 1 a.m.

Schaeffer said his crew was returning to the Bechtelsville fire station after fighting a garage fire in nearby District Township.

"It's just something that you never expect to happen," he said.

Schaeffer, along with the driver, identified as Jeffrey Reitnauer, 48, of Bechtelsville, and the three other firefighters on board were not hurt.

"After the collision, our guys immediately jumped out and started rendering first aid 'til EMS arrived," said Schaeffer.

Kulp was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital near Allentown with serious injuries. As of Friday afternoon, he was reported in critical condition.

"It's very upsetting. I hope he's okay... prayers to his family," said Randi Bliss, a nearby resident who witnessed the aftermath of the crash.  

State police are investigating the incident.

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