Rincon Fire Chief Corey Rahn has been charged with reckless driving by Port Wentworth police after rushing to the scene of an accident.
On April 10, while picking up an air conditioner in Pooler, Rahn received a call about a garbage truck that rear-ended a gas truck. Around the same time, a Port Wentworth police officer was in a Wendy’s parking lot when he heard a “wailing type of horn.”
The officer said he was “amazed” to see the red pickup with an amber and white mini light bar, since emergency fire vehicles have red lights. Unbeknownst to the officer, Rahn was in his person vehicle and on his way to an emergency.
According to Savannah Now, police officers in Port Wentworth checked with Effingham dispatch and were informed they had no one responding to the incident. It was also reported that Central Dispatch was too busy to check, along with Central dispatches for fire and EMS and police for Springfield, Rincon and Guyton.
Rahn was reported to have been weaving in and out of traffic, forcing vehicles to either the left or right side of the road.
“The driver gave no consideration for the safety of himself, or the safety of the motoring public,” the officer reported.
Rahn did not stop for the officer and was trailed by him into Effingham County. The officer used his PA system to get Rahn to stop on Ga. 21.
“The driver never heeded my verbal directions and continued northbound continually forcing vehicles out of his path of travel,” the officer reported.
The officer, without his blue lights, followed Rahn to the scene of the traffic accident in Effingham. According to police video, another Port Wentworth officer involved in the pursuit was ready to arrest Rahn once they arrived at the wreck.
“He’s going to jail,” the officer can be heard yelling on the video.
Proceeding an open records request, videos of the pursuit, the accident scene, and Rahn picking up his citations were all released to Effingham Now, along with a copy of the incident report. Rahn was allowed to finish working the wreck, but had to pick up his citations at the Port Wentworth police department.
The three citations Rahn was given include reckless driving, failure to exercise due care and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle. In one of the videos, Rahn can be heard pleading his case, saying he was trying to get to an accident involving a gasoline spill and an entrapment.
“I thought you were a Rincon officer behind me and we were going to the same place until I got between McCall and Chimney Road,” Rahn said.
Rincon City Manager Wesley Corbitt knows about the citations and also knows Rahn’s presence at the scene was vital.
“What we do know is that a major accident involving a tanker carrying approximately 9,000 gallons of gas was rear-ended by a trash truck at approximately 45 mph,” Corbitt said. “The trucks were fused together and an individual was trapped in the trash truck in critical condition. There was tremendous potential for escalation of damage to person and property. I have no doubt of the importance of his presence at the scene and that his leadership was vital to safely diffuse a potentially explosive and life threatening accident.”
Corbitt claims the city has confidence in Rahn.
“I don’t understand the need for three citations when y’all understand the magnitude of the accident,” Rahn said to officers.
many years ago when i was on the local P.D. i let the local Vol F.D. know i would write tickets to all the firemen driving like maniacs to the station. small town 1800 people. i think they would fight for who got to drive the truck. i tried to keep the P.D. limited to 40 mph in town even running lights and siren. i once had a fireman honk at me from behind i was in the patrol car and i had emergency lights on.
CHAOS: Chief Has Arrived On Scene. Coming from my experience as a firefighter I gotta say the officer acted very respectively to the chief! No matter where the chief was going he put everyone in danger on the way to the scene…no reason to cause another scene by rushing to the initial one. Even a responding emergency vehicle has to ASK for permission to get through traffic. Chief acted reclessly and deserves what came to him… hats off to the officer for standing his ground!