Saturday, September 10, 2016

A firefighter is dead, and two others injured after their fire truck clipped a bridge, ran off the road and rolled over in Meridian, MS

By Andrea Williams |
Posted: Fri 12:16 PM, Sep 09, 2016 |
Updated: Sat 1:36 AM, Sep 10, 2016

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - UPDATE: The city of Meridian has released the identity of the firefighter who was killed in the accident involving a fire truck.

Meridian city officials say the deceased firefighter has been identified as Eric Gustafson.

Earlier story:

One Meridian firefighter was killed, and two others seriously injured while responding to a call Friday morning.

"It's been a bad...bad morning. It's a bad...bad day," is what Meridian Fire Chief Anthony Clayton told Newscenter 11 as he left the scene of the one-vehicle wreck.

It happened around 9 Friday when the three firefighters, who were on duty from Fire Station Number 3 on Highway 11 on Airport Boulevard, responded to a routine call. According to Mayor Percy Bland, two fire truck units were responding to that call when one of them left the road and crashed. This happened about a half mile from the entrance of the Jaycee Soccer Field Complex off Old Highway 80.

"They're going to review everything that happened from the street here to see exactly what happened and when the firetruck went off the road," says Bland. "We don't have all of that information right now."

The Meridian Police Department is handling the investigation, along with the Mississippi Highway Patrol which has conducted a reenactment to try and determine exactly what caused the wreck.

In the wake of the accident, Chief Clayton says his entire department is in mourning. However, he's assuring citizens that coverage is continuing to be provided through all Meridian fire stations.

"We are doing what we can," says Clayton, "and we've had a lot of brother units from other cities and the air guard base, and the navy base that have also called to offer their assistance."

"We have a crisis management team from Weems communicating with our firemen," says Mayor Bland. "Some of the counselors were actually on the scene to see what we need to do as a city. I just ask this community to pray for those involved in this accident, and for our complete fire department today because this is a parent, a friend, a boss, another co-worker, a brother or sister."

Around noon Friday Chief Clayton confirmed that at least one of the two surviving firefighters was critically injured, and was transported to Jackson for treatment. City officials say the name of the fallen firefighter will be released after the next of kin has been notified.

Meridian fire truck accident: 1 firefighter dead, 2 others injured

By Donesha Aldridge Published: September 9, 2016, 11:25 am Updated: September 9, 2016, 5:28 pm

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WJTV) — A firefighter is dead, and two others are fighting for their lives after their fire truck rolled over Friday morning in Meridian.

Authorities said the accident happened around 9 a.m on Old Eighth Street.

Eric Gustafson died from his injuries in the crash.

Officials tell WJTV that the the firefighters were responding to fire when the accident happened. The fire truck left the road and rolled over.

The two firefighters, David Carney and Capt. Jeffery Stewart were also in the truck. Carney is in stable condition at a hospital in Meridian. Capt. Stewart was flown to a hospital in Jackson immediately after the accident.


Firefighter who died in Meridian fire truck crash identified 

Friday, September 9th 2016, 4:56 pm EDT

Posted by Mary Grace Brantley, Digital Content Director

MERIDIAN, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A firefighter is dead after a firetruck carrying several Meridian firefighters wrecked near the Jaycee Soccer Complex Friday morning.

He has been identified by Meridian city officials as Eric Gustafson.

According to WTOK, Mayor Percy Bland was on scene, where he confirmed that one firefighter is dead and two firefighters are at the hospital with serious injuries. The firefighter's identity has not been released.

It's been confirmed the unit was sent out from Fire station 3 in response to a call and ran off the road. Meridian Police say an Air Vac helicopter is on standby in case it is needed.

Numerous city officials are currently on the scene near 65th Avenue and Old 8th Street Road, and the road is currently closed to traffic. Meridian's fire chief is expected to release more details soon.


Meridian firefighter dies after truck flips, 2 injured
Sarah Fowler, The Clarion-Ledger 1:24 p.m. CDT September 9, 2016

A firetruck flipped on the way to a call Friday morning, killing one firefighter and injuring two others.

According to Lauderdale County Coroner Clay Cobler, firefighters with the Meridian Fire Department were responding to a call when their truck clipped a bridge, ran off the road and rolled over.

Lauderdale County Coroner Clayton Cobler said one of the firefighters, a 40-year-old male, was killed on impact. He was pronounced dead on scene at 9:09 a.m., Cobler said.

The name of the victims are not yet being released, pending family notification.

Two firefighters were transported from the scene. One was flown to Jackson, Cobler said. He was unsure where the other firefighter was transported.

According to Sergent Darreall Thompson with the Meridian Police Department, his officers responded to the call around 9 a.m. Friday.

Thompson referred all other questions to the Meridian Fire Department but said the accident was a "difficult time."

"It’s a difficult time for the whole city but especially or the families of the fire department," he said. "Fire, police, we’re all family because we serve this community."

Meridian Mayor Percy Blair said the city was in a state of mourning, calling the accident a "tragic situation."

"It’s not a good day for Meridian," Blair said. "You never want to get a call like what happened today. Our community is in prayer."

This is a developing story.  He was most likely driving too fast for the conditions and as he was making the slight turn, he hit the bridge and crashed.  RIP.