Society

Firefighter Dies In Car Crash On The Way To A Fire

| by Jonathan Constante

An Oklahoma firefighter died in a single-vehicle crash while on his way to a structure fire.

The crash occurred on a country road in Delaware County at around 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 22, KOTV reported.

Michael Dale Russell, 68, was on his way to a fire when he lost control of his vehicle and ran off the right side of the road, Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.

Russell, who worked for the Leach Fire Department, was driving a 2003 Freightliner tanker truck. He overcorrected and the truck rolled over 1 1/2 times, stopping upside down.

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Russell was ejected from the vehicle and pinned under the truck for two hours. Authorities said he was not wearing a seatbelt. Russell was pronounced dead at the scene with massive injuries.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol is still investigating the cause of the crash. It wrote in its report that it was foggy at the time of the crash.

Leach Fire Department officials said Russell, from Rose, Oklahoma, was soft-spoken, but stern when he needed to be. They said he was a huge part of the department and community.

“He was always one of the first guys I could call to come help me on anything,” Chief Tom Pearce told KFOR.

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Russell served as the manager of a water district in Delaware County for nine years. The death marks the first time the Leach Fire Department lost a firefighter in the line of duty.

Sources: KOTV, KFOR / Photo credit: Firefighter LODD/Twitter

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