Man Sues Umatilla County Fire District No. 1 for $700,000


Umatilla County Fire District No. 1 faces a $700,000 lawsuit claiming one of its staff ran a red light in an ambulance and caused a crash.

Attorney Alex Wylie, of Bend, filed the pleading Friday, June 7, in Umatilla County Circuit Court, for Larrie Duff, who claims he was the victim of the crash July 9, 2022, at the intersection of West Elm Avenue and North First Place in Hermiston.

According to the pleading, Duff was driving his 2014 Kia southbound on North First Place and approaching the intersection of West Elm Avenue. At the same time William Dewitt was driving a Umatilla County Fire District No. 1 ambulance west on Elm and nearing the intersection. The traffic light for vehicles going south on North First Place was green while the traffic light for vehicles heading west on West Elm Avenue was red.

Dewitt ran the red light, according to the complaint, and Duff was not able to avoid crashing with the ambulance. As a result, Duff suffered a litany of injuries, including a concussion, brain injury, neck pain and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Duff seeks no more than $700,000 for all medical expenses and noneconomic damages.

According to the court record, Duff has yet to serve the fire district with notice of the case, and no court dates for the matter are pending.


  1. Ambulance should have slowed down when entering intersection. I know that if the wind is blowing it can make it difficult to hear sirens and vehicles are build now where most people can’t hear sirens until the emergency vehicle is upon them. Also I don’t know if vehicle was unable to see oncoming Ambulance.


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