Two fire truck rollovers

Morganton North Carolina fire truck rollover
WSOC-TV Channel 9

There have been two fire truck rollovers recently in which the firefighters were seriously injured while responding to vegetation fires. The photo above shows an engine from the West End Fire Department in North Carolina on Tuesday. Here is an excerpt from The News Herald:

Morganton – A West End firefighter was injured Tuesdaywhen his engine overturned while responding to a fire call.

Donald Hughes, 42, of 5298 Hayes Water Road, Morganton was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, according to Trooper Aaron Johnson, with the N.C. State Highway Patrol. Hughes’ condition was unknown at press time.

Johnson said Hughes was traveling south on Dysartsville Road in a 2000 International Fire Truck, on his way to a fire call on Gold Mine Road, when he lost control of his fire truck.

While rounding a turn on Dysartsville, the fire truck ran off the right side of the road, Johnson said. He attempted to correct the path and pulled the vehicle back on the road.

The vehicle again went off the right side of the road, striking several bushes, mailboxes and trees before flipping, Johnson said. Highway patrol was notified at 2:34 p.m.

Hughes suffered fractures to his legs and several broken ribs, the trooper said. There also were concerns of internal bleeding.

Burke County EMS took Hughes to Grace Hospital, and then he was airlifted to Charlotte.

Johnson said speed was not likely an issue as most fire engines don’t typically travel very fast.

It is often difficult for fire trucks to drive on country roads that are narrow and curvy, Johnson said, especially because of their size. He added that water can shift in the fire engine, which makes it difficult to regain control.

The fire truck was totaled, Johnson said, with damages easily topping $300,000.

The second rollover happened near Beaumont, Mississippi on Friday. From the Laurel Leader-Call:

LAUREL — Two Perry County volunteer firefighters were injured after a tanker truck they were riding in wrecked on a county road in Beaumont Friday evening.

Beaumont Police Chief Wayne Penton said firefighters Kent Lott and Milton Paskey of the Arlington Volunteer Fire Department were responding to a fire on River Loop Road in Beaumont when the accident occurred at about 5 p.m. The ages of the firefighters were not available.

“The Beaumont Fire Department was already at the scene of the fire battling the blaze,” said Penton. “They were en route in a tanker truck to haul water to the fire.

“There are no fire hoses in areas outside the city limits and they have to rely on tankers to bring the water in to these areas,” explained Penton. “They were en route on a small country road and came into a curve when they met another vehicle.”

Penton said it appeared that the tanker went over too far as it tried to avoid hitting the vehicle and flipped over one time.

“It landed on its top,” said the chief. “They had to use the jaws of life and everything else to get them out of the truck.”

Penton said Lott is in critical condition, while Paskey is listed as serious. The injuries were not considered to be life-threatening.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “Two fire truck rollovers”

  1. In the period from 1990-2009, vehicle accidents were the 2nd leading cause of wildland firefighter deaths in the US. Volunteer firefighters are especially vunerable since they are often enroute to Initial Attack in their own jurisdiction. The ultimate objective is to arrive at the fire, suppress it, and return home safely! Slow down and Live!


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