09/17/14 517 W, 3 I - + 8 - 1 UPDATED: Franklin County Firefighter Killed in Apparatus Accident

Afternoon Update:
The deceased firefighter is John Derek Gupton, age 24. He had been a member of the Justice FD for five years. He's a third-generation firefighter in his family. Thanks to Firefighter Close Calls for that information. The injured firefighter is Kyle Horton, who is also a Franklin County Sherrif's Deputy. He was treated and released from WakeMed last night.

Arrangements have been announced. Visitation is Saturday, September 20, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Strickland's Funeral Home, 103 W. Franklin Street, Louisburg. Firefighters attended are requested to wear full dress uniform. No apparatus please, as there's limited parking.

Funeral is Sunday, September 21, at 2:00 p.m., at Duke Memorial Church, at 3971 NC 581 Highway. That's about a half-mile down the road from the fire station. Apparatus and personnel should arrive at the church at 1:00 p.m., for parking and lining up. Thanks to Lee Wilson for passing along. He also snapped this photo:

Lee Wilson photo

Morning Posting:
Here's what's known about yesterday's apparatus accident in Franklin County. The name of the deceased firefighter, identified only as young man in his 20s, hasn't been released and/or published.

Late yesterday afternoon, a Justice Rural Volunteer Fire Department firefighter was killed and a second firefighter was injured when their two-axle, 2,500-gallon tanker overturned on Sykes Road in Louisburg. They were responding to a fire alarm (false) in the Lake Royale community.

At about 5:10 p.m., the apparatus overturned in the 1300 block of Sykes Road. It reportedly lost control in a curve and/or struck a culvert. The accident occurred about four miles from the location of the call. Other firefighters responding to the fire alarm were the first to discover the accident.

The driver was killed. The second firefighter aboard was transported to WakeMed, where they were treated and released. Officials are saying that excessive speed does not appear to have been a factor.

Numerous news outlets have broadcast video and still footage from the scene. They're linked below, along with a historical perspective on apparatus and tanker incidents in North Carolina.

WTVD photo

Adam Owens/WRAL photo

News Reports

Historical Perspective

At least twenty-six North Carolina firefighters have previously died in the line duty as a result of apparatus accidents between 1917 and 2007. These were collisions with vehicles or other objects, or apparatus leaving the roadway. (Many others have died in falls from vehicles, being struck by vehicles, or while operating personal vehicles.)

At least seven of the fatalities involved tankers. All were volunteer firefighters:

Franklin County has experienced one prior line-of-duty death. Centerville Fire Department Emergency Medical Technician Betty King Dennis, 54, died on January 3, 2001, after being struck by a vehicle while directing traffic at a motor-vehicle accident.

Source: My Database

The deceased firefighter has been identified as John Derek Gupton.

The injured firefighter has been identified as Deputy Kyle Horton.
Legeros - 09/17/14 - 09:26

Mike, any details about the accident in Knightdale that injured an Eastern Wake FF?
Charlie H - 09/17/14 - 15:27

Charlie, look in the upper right corner of the blog home page. You’ll see Twitter messages. One of those is the EWFD story.
Chirp - 09/17/14 - 16:36

Remember personal info?

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