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Cal Fire battalion chief hospitalized after collision on 215 Freeway near Perris

A Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department battalion chief crashed — possibly because of a medical emergency — off the 215 Freeway near Harley Knox Boulevard near Perris on Wednesday, prompting officials to shut down rail traffic in the area.

A CHP officer arriving after the 3:07 p.m. collision said the chief, whose name was not disclosed, was semi-conscious. Cal Fire spokesman Capt. Fernando Herrera said the chief’s vital signs appeared to be stable when he was hospitalized. It wasn’t clear yet whether the chief crashed because of an illness or whether he was injured in the collision, Herrera said.

The chief’s pickup collided with another vehicle, Herrera said. The CHP online log said the pickup went onto the right shoulder next to a chain link fence and barricade that crosses onto the railroad tracks. The CHP asked Metrolink and BSNF to halt traffic through the area, according to the CHP log.

A CHP spokesman could not immediately be reached for additional details.

The crash was the second medical emergency involving a Cal Fire official Wednesday.

Herrera said a captain suffered an illness during wildfire training in the Mountain Center area. He was in stable condition at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, Herrera said.

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