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Carnival worker pulling cheesesteak truck slams into fire truck, police cars

by: Liz Artz
Updated:



DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. – A carnival worker careened into emergency workers on the scene of an accident, sending firefighters running for their lives.

“Hit the first cone, then the second cone and then it was on us,” DeKalb County Fire Captain Tremayne McMurray said.

DeKalb County Police said the tractor trailer, pulling a cheesesteak stand and carrying 400 pounds of propane, crashed into half a dozen emergency workers along I-285.


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Police said carnival worker, Charles Zuschlag was behind the wheel.

McMurray told Channel 2’s Liz Artz that he was stopped on I-285 Sunday with a hero unit, a wrecker, DeKalb police and fire all working the scene of an accident when Zuschlag came barreling through their scene, nearly killing them all.

“It was the closest I’ve been to dying in the 19 years I’ve been working,” McMurray said.

Fire fighters gave Artz a picture of where the food stand came to a rest.

Captain Eric Jackson told Artz that a police officer was closing his squad car door when it was nearly ripped off.

“He’s not only lucky to be alive, but lucky to have his limbs,” Jackson said.

Artz got an exclusive look at the damaged fire truck worth more than $500,000.

The door was torn completely off, the windshield shattered, a step mangled and a pull bar ripped from its hinges.

“This piece of apparatus is going to be out an extended period of time and it’s going to cost thousands of dollars to get repaired,” McMurray said. 

They’ll use a reserve unit until repairs are made.

As for Zuschlag, he told police his tractor trailer malfunctioned and he lost control. He told officers on the scene that his brakes and steering went out.

He faces a slew of violations, which include operating an unsafe vehicle, no registration and no insurance.

“Kind of odd for him to not see all of those lights. He came right down between the engine and the police cars,” McMurray said.

The police report indicated alcohol was not a factor.

Channel 2’s Liz Artz reached out to Zuschlag for comment, but was not able to get in touch with him.


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