IMAGE: basil childers
A Portland firefighter sustained serious injuries to the face and head Monday in bizarre incident involving a giant socket
. The trouble began at roughly 11 am, when a 1981 Buick Skylark heading west on North Willamette Boulevard crossed the yellow line into oncoming traffic and plowed into the side of a Les Schwab truck
. The collision ripped open the truck's tool compartment, catapulting a hail of hardware through the air, including a set of massive steel sockets designed for truck-wheel lugnuts. One socket flew through the open window of Portland Fire Engine No. 26
, which just happened to be stopped at an intersection, striking engineer Kelly Ekhoff, 46, in the face. Ekhoff, a 25-year veteran of the Fire Bureau, was transported to Emanuel Hospital with a broken nose, broken tooth and concussion. "They just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time," says Fire Bureau spokesman Neil Heesacker. Police are investigating the accident.