Motorcyclist hit by SFFD truck not happy with settlement

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A motorcyclist hit by a San Francisco fire truck that ran a red light during a call has given his first interview to the ABC7 I-Team and he is not happy at all with a $5 million settlement in the works.

"I think that someone would have gotten into more trouble if they ran over somebody's dog. They are treating me as if I'm just a crash test dummy," Jack Frazier said.

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A committee of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is set to vote on the settlement Thursday, but Frazier tells me he will be there asking them to rip up the deal.

Frazier remembers that night three years ago, riding his motorcycle down Howard Street in San Francisco. "The light was red, so I was slowing down. When the light turned green, I was three to four car lengths away from the light, so I just put it back in gear and let the clutch out," he said.

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Surveillance video from the corner pub showed the fire department's ladder truck on the way to a call blew through a red light. "The last thing I remember was the air horn and the lights, my bike lit up and then it hit me," Frazier said.

The impact sent Frazier sliding across the street. He slammed into a fire hydrant. "I think the fire hydrant saved my life because if it didn't stop me, I could've broken my neck on the wall," Frazier said.

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Oftentimes, you hear how people don't feel pain because of shock or because their system breaks down. "I felt everything and still do to this day, everything," Frazier said. "And I was conscious until they shoved the straw through my broken ribs to re-inflate my lung," Frazier said.

His injuries were extensive - crushed shoulder, broken ribs, shattered knee, crushed ankle and foot. Frazier tells me he's in constant pain three years after the crash, and can't work. "I'm frustrated, I'm angry and I don't function very well anymore because of the anger," he said.

Frazier tells me he doesn't feel any better after signing a $5 million settlement in May. He was given $10,000 from firefighter Michael Quinn who was driving the truck, the rest came from the city and county.

Frazier says, once the lawyers take their 40-percent or $2 million and he pays case costs and medical bills, he'll have about $700,000 left. "I'll have to pay taxes on this, too, so when it's all said and done, there's really nothing left," he said.

That's why Frazier tells me he'll go to city hall Thursday to urge the supervisors to tear up the deal.

And next week, another hearing will take place in the criminal case against former firefighter Quinn. He resigned from the department after the incident and still faces DUI charges, even though a judge threw out the breathalyzer and blood evidence. Quinn has pleaded not guilty.

Frazier tells me he hasn't received justice or even a simple apology. "I am going to have surgeries for the rest of my life. This is the best that I'm ever going to get and yet the city and county of San Francisco, not one person yet, has stepped forward to say that they were sorry about this," he said.

It didn't help his case that Frazier had marijuana in his system at the time of the crash. The city argued his reactions may have been affected. A car in the slow lane did stop for the fire truck, but Frazier continued into that intersection.

Frazier's lawyers tell me they can't comment on the settlement until it's approved, and the city attorney also declined to comment for this report.

The ABC7 News I-Team will be at city hall Thursday to provide an update on what happens.
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