A Mt. Olive volunteer fire captain died after being pinned under a firetruck he was driving late Monday night.
BIENVILLE PARISH, LA (KSLA) -
A Bienville Parish fire captain has died from injuries suffered when the fire truck he was driving crashed into a ditch late Monday night.
Louisiana State Police say 52-year-old Robert B. Thomas, of Quitman, La., was driving a 1999 Freightliner fire truck north on LA 155 around 10:30 p.m. when the truck entered a curve and drifted off the roadway. Investigators said the Mt. Olive volunteer overcorrected, crossing the center line and crashing into a ditch. Thomas was pinned underneath the truck.
The truck was registered to Bienville Fire District 7. Thomas, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Bienville Parish Coroner's Office.
Deborah Alexander, Thomas's sister, said that Thomas had been serving in the fire department since the early 1990's. He was always making sure that the station was taken care of.
"During the winter, he would make sure the station was the right temperature so the truck was OK, and was always checking on everybody. That was just his life," she said.
Alexander said as of now, they are still making funeral arrangements, but the family already knows that the fire department plans to give Thomas full honors.
"They plan on having an honor guard, and kilts, and bagpipes," she said. "I can hardly talk about it when I think about that."
A routine toxicology sample was taken from Thomas for analysis. The crash remains under investigation,
State troopers remind everyone, including first responders, to wear seatbelts whenever driving or riding in a vehicle to reduce the likelihood of injury or death. This is Troop G's seventh fatal crash this year.