Mobile fire chief’s single-vehicle crash under review


MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Per department regulations, Interim Fire Chief Randy Smith submitted to a drug and alcohol test Monday afternoon following a wreck.


Department Spokesman Steve Huffman told Fox10 News in an email that Smith was swerving to avoid what he thought was a possible sinkhole in the road, made a sharp turn to avoid oncoming traffic, and struck a telephone pole right in front of the Central Fire Station.


Huffman said about $1900 in damage was done to Smith’s city-issued SUV.


He also said Mobile Police were not called to the scene to do an accident report. Instead, the a district fire chief was called to the scene to fill out the report.


The investigation is now in the hands of the mayor’s office.


City Councilman Fred Richardson, who was one of the three council members to voice their decent of Smith’s appointment to full time fire chief, sent an email probing for more information about the wreck to both the mayor’s office and some members of the media.


The mayor’s office fired back in a statement, which read in part:


“Today, Councilman Fred Richardson sent an email to the Mayor inquiring about an automobile accident involving a City Employee.  A copy of that email, before the Mayor or I could read it or respond to it, was also sent to the media…The City Council has the right to inquiry, but when inquiries are sent to the media with insinuations and implications about the good name and character of city employees, it crosses the line.”


Fox10 News will continue to follow this story as it develops.

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