Two firefighters were injured in Newton County when their fire truck overturned Saturday, officials said.
Emergency Management director John Williamson said the fire truck was en route to a wreck that had occurred when the truck overturned.
One of the firefighters inside the pumper was able to get himself out, Williamson said, but the other had to be extricated by fellow firefighters, which took about an hour.
Union Fire Chief Dale Yates said both firefighters were hospitalized following the wreck. Thomas Winery, the driver, had cuts and lacerations, and Clint Walker, the passenger, was airlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center where he was treated for a broken clavicle and shoulder blade. Both have been treated and released.
The accident occurred on Mississippi 492 around 9:30 p.m. when firefighters were on the way to a two-car collision at Conehatta Prospect Road, Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Andy West said. Conditions were foggy and the roadway was hard to see, Yates said. That condition can be exacerbated by the glare of emergency lights.
The rear tires left the shoulder of the road, which caused the 1,000 gallons of water in the back of the truck to slosh. When the truck was brought fully back on to the road, the water sloshed to the left and back to the right, and the weight of that and all the equipment caused the truck to roll.
“When one of those trucks leaves the asphalt, the pavement, or you have to make a sharp turn for whatever reason, it can be hard to correct,” Williamson said.
Whinery was trained and had taken all the necessary classes to drive the apparatus, Yates said.
“This was just one of those freak accidents,” Yates said.
Williamson said Mississippi Highway Patrol is investigating the accident.
Union Fire Department is a city department, but is still volunteer. They have a fleet of six vehicles.
“We’re down a pumper now, but the insurance folks will be here tomorrow,” Yates said.
Other departments from around the county have also offered help.
“Decatur Fire Department just left, trying to help us get things situated and moved to other trucks,” Yates said.
Other departments are also helping to cover for any of Union’s needs while they’re down a truck.