VAFireNews.com photo by Mike Sanders of Gore Volutneer Fire & Rescue Department's Tanker 14. Described as a "1986 Ford 8000 that was built by Alleghany. It has a 1500 gallon water tank and is equipped with a 1000 gallon per minute pump."
Update 2:00 PM Eastern Time:
At 1:00 this afternoon Frederick County Fire & Rescue Chief Dennis Linaburg announced that 21-year-old Firefighter Zachary Whitacre was killed in the crash this morning of the tanker from Gore Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department just after 4:00 AM. According to officials, the firefighter's father, Donald Whitacre was driving tanker 14 when the accident occurred. Donald Whitacre was treated and released with non-life threatening injuries.
Linaburg said the two were the only people involved in the single-vehicle crash and were traveling westbound on U.S. 50 to retrieve a second tank of water for a structure fire.
According to a press release from the West Virginia State Police, Donald Whitacre lost control of the fire truck on “the icy road surface,” causing the vehicle to slide and hit an embankment.
Zachary Whitacre was on the back of the vehicle and ejected when the truck hit the embankment. Whitacre died as a result of his injuries.
State Police say Zachary Whitacre, 21, was riding in the back of a 1986 Ford fire tanker that was heading to the Capon Bridge Fire Company for a refill of water.
Troopers say the driver of that tanker, identified as Donald Whitacre, lost control on an icy Route 50, sending it into an embankment.
It is with deep regret to report the passing of Zachary Whitacre, a volunteer firefighter with the Gore Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.
On February 13, 2012 at approximately 03:21, crews from the Gore, Gainesboro, and Reynolds Store Fire Departments responded to a reported structure fire in Hampshire County, West Virginia. During the incident, Tanker 14 of the Gore Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department was involved in a single-vehicle crash on U.S. Route 50 west of Timber Ridge Road in West Virginia.
As a result of the crash, the two personnel on the apparatus were injured. Donald A. Whitacre, Jr, the driver/ operator of the vehicle, sustained minor injuries which resulted in him being treated and released from Winchester Medical Center. Volunteer Firefighter Zachary Whitacre sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported to Winchester Medical Center where ultimately he succumbed to his injuries.
This incident is under investigation by the West Virginia State Police, the West Virginia Fire Marshal's Office, and the Frederick County Fire and Rescue Department.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Whitacre family as well as to the volunteers of Gore Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.
Memorial contributions and funeral arrangements will be posted as soon as they become available.
NOTE: Frederick County Fire & Rescue Department has scheduled a 1:00 PM news conference to discuss this incident.
The news from this morning's fatal fire truck wreck in Hampshire County, West Virginia is slow in coming out. We have confirmed the fire truck was a tanker from the Gore Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department in Frederick County, Virginia. The tanker was shuttling water at a fire in Capon Bridge.
The Hampshire Review reports the victim is a 19-year-old volunteer firefighter and that the wreck occurred on Route 50 near Timber Ridge Road.
A Firefighter with the Gore Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department (station 14) has died in the Line of Duty early this morning. The Firefighter was killed in an apparatus wreck while responding to a mutual aid fire in Hampshire County, West Virginia around 4am.
One firefighter was killed, another is at the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
We have already seen a name of the firefighter on Facebook but will not report it until it has been officially released.
Earlier, The Secret List reported:
We regret to advise you that a Firefighter with Gore (Frederick County, VA near Winchester) Volunteer Fire & Rescue was killed in the Line of Duty early this morning. Initial reports are that they were responding to a mutual fire in nearby West Virginia. One FF lost his life and another transported for evaluation.
Frederick County Fire and Rescue officials would not confirm or deny the death, but when asked about it, said they are in the process of preparing a press release with more information.
According to firefighterclosecalls.com, — a website that deals with injury and death to firefighters — initial reports are that Gore Volunteer Fire Company was responding to a mutual aid fire in nearby West Virginia and crashed.
New information will be provided as it is available.