Dayton woman says claims process too slow after city fire truck damages her car

A woman woke up to find a Dayton fire truck smashed into her car and she says she is fighting City Hall to get back on the road.

News Center 7’s Mike Campbell spoke with her and city leaders about the process people go through when they are involved in wrecks with city vehicles.

Chantel Richardson showed the damage to her car she learned about early Tuesday morning. She woke up at 1 a.m. and walked out to see a fire truck and several police cars.

“They said, ‘the fire truck just hit your car’ and I want to give you this claim, I mean report number,” she said.

The Dayton crash report states Dayton Fire Engine 17, based at the city’s West Third Street station, sideswiped a parked 2003 Buick.

“He still has his job. I don’t have no car, no nothing,” Richardson said about the firefighter driving the truck.

She got a copy of the crash report and was told on the phone the city would mail a claim form. But she said the process is too slow.

No one at the city’s law department was available for an interview to find out whether Richardson was doing anything wrong or leaving something out in her attempts to get relief.

However, the city did provide some guidelines for anyone involved in a crash with a city vehicle.

Step one involves filling out the claim form with an estimate of the damage to your vehicle and sending it back.

The city then goes to the fire department, or other agency involved, to verify the claim.

Under Ohio immunity law, the city typically would be required only to pay the deductible and the other party’s insurance pays the rest.

And like most insurance claims, it’s not a fast process.

“It could take up to six to eight weeks for the claim to go through,” Richardson said.

She said she can’t get to work or get her son to school without her car, and that the city doesn’t pay for rental vehicles.

“I need my car fixed,” she said. “I need transportation.”

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to

About the Author