LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — A Lafayette firefighter is in serious but stable condition after he dove off an Interstate 10 overpass Wednesday night, March 10, to avoid being hit by an 18-wheeler driven by an allegedly intoxicated Mississippi man.

Lafayette Fire Chief Robert Benoit is declining to identify the injured firefighter other than to note that he is 45 years old and is a four-year veteran of the department.

Nathan A. Martin mugshot, and damaged Lafayette fire truck. Courtesy Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s office and Lafayette Fire Department

“As first responders, we respond to numerous emergencies during a given shift,” said Benoit. “Our mission is to provide quality service to the victims and ensure we make it home safely at the end of the day. Unfortunately, last night did not end that way for one of our firefighters. We ask that the community keep him, his family, and the firefighters in their prayers.”

The driver of the 18-wheeler, Nathan A. Martin, 51, of Mississippi, faces charges of failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, open alcohol container, OWI first-offense, and vehicular negligent injuring. He had no bond listed as of this morning, March 11.

According to Lafayette Police Sgt. Robin Green, firefighters had responded to a crash on I-10 near the Louisiana Ave. exit at around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night. While on the scene, about an hour later, Martin’s 18-wheeler crashed into one of the fire trucks, causing the firefighter to leap out of the way of the oncoming truck, only to fall around 20 feet off the overpass.

No other injuries were reported in the crash.