In the video above, ABC7/WJLA-TV reporter Greta Kruez talked with Donald Whitacre about his son Zach who was killed this morning. Father and son were aboard Gore Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department Tanker 14 at 4:00 this morning shuttling water to a house fire in Capon Bridge, West Virginia.
Donald was behind the wheel. West Virginia State Police, according to numerous news reports, say Zach was riding in the back of the 1986 Ford when it hit an icy spot and slid into an embankment.
Zach was at least the third generation of his family involved in the fire department. He joined about a year ago.
The Frederick County Fire & Rescue Department has updated the earlier statement to include this information:
Memorial contributions may be made to
Gore Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department
P.O. Box 146, Gore VIrginia 22637
A 21-year-old volunteer firefighter from the Gore Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company in Virginia was killed early Monday when the 12-hundred gallon tanker truck he was riding on overturned while fetching water to fight a house fire in neighboring Capon Bridge West Virginia.
Zachary Whitacre was thrown from the rear of the truck, which was being driven by his father Doug Whitacre, according to West Virginia State Police.
The pair had just delivered water to fight a fire on Timber Ridge Road which broke about at about 3:30 a.m. Monday. The Whitakers were going to Capon Bridge to get another load of water when Doug Whitacre lost control on U.S. Route 50 and the truck overturned after hitting a steep bank. A police press released noted icy conditions at the time.
Zachary Whitacre, a graduate of James Wood High School, was in training to become a full member of the Gore Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, a spokesman for the Gore Volunteers said. In addition to his father, his grandfather was also a member of the fire company.
"Everybody is still kind of in shock and dealing with the emotions of it," said fellow volunteer Page Whitacre, who is not related to the victim.