Local News

Firefighter killed, another injured after fire truck overturns in Franklin Co.

Posted September 16, 2014 6:17 p.m. EDT
Updated September 17, 2014 2:34 p.m. EDT

— A firefighter was killed and another was injured Tuesday afternoon after the fire truck they were in overturned in Franklin County.

Franklin County Sheriff Jerry Jones said the tanker truck was headed to a fire alarm call in Louisburg's Lake Royale community at around 5 p.m. when it overturned on a slight curve on Sykes Road and hit a culvert.

"The way the water was shifting, once it starts, there's no coming back," Jones said.

The truck was carrying 2,500 gallons of water. The firefighters, John Derek Gupton and Kyle Horton, were from the Justice Rural Volunteer Fire Department near Louisburg. The cab they were sitting in was flattened by the impact.

Other firefighters on the way to the fire alarm came across the wreck first.

Gupton, who was driving, died, and Horton was treated and released from a local hospital, Jones said.

The entire department, and the small community it serves, is devastated, Jones said.

"(We lost) a friend, a neighbor, someone we probably ate lunch with on Sunday," he said. "We started a normal day this morning, and now we are planning a ceremony for a death."

Excessive speed does not appear to be a factor in the crash, Jones said.

The fire alarm that the firefighters were responding was a stove fire, authorities said.