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Va. trooper, 2 firefighters hurt after cruiser strikes fire truck

The trooper and one firefighter were treated and released but the fire chief remains hospitalized

By Jordan Fifer
The Roanoke Times

WARM SPRINGS, Va. — A state trooper and two Bath County firefighters were hospitalized Friday night after the trooper's cruiser crashed into a fire truck, officials said.

The trooper and one of the volunteer firefighters had been treated and released by Saturday morning, though another firefighter, listed as the chief, remained hospitalized.

Virginia State Police spokesman Sgt. Rob Carpentieri said the wreck happened about 8:30 p.m. Friday on U.S. 220 in Warm Springs near Virginia 39.

Trooper G.W. Johnson Jr. was traveling north with his "emergency equipment activated," headed to assist the Bath County Sheriff's Office with a domestic call, Carpentieri said.

As he crested a hill, Johnson struck a Millboro Volunteer Fire Department pumper truck pulling onto U.S. 220 from a side road. It wasn't immediately clear if the fire truck had its lights and siren on or was headed to a call.

Carpentieri said Johnson was airlifted to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Spokesman Eric Earnhart said he'd been discharged by Saturday morning.

The driver of the fire truck, 74-year-old Robert Leon Burke of Millboro, was taken to Bath County Community Hospital and later to Roanoke Memorial. Earnhart said he was in serious condition Saturday morning.

A passenger in the fire truck, Richard Mason Cauthorn III, 65, of Millboro, was taken to Bath County Community Hospital as well. He'd been discharged by Saturday morning.

The Ford Crown Victoria that Johnson was driving was totaled in the collision. The condition of the fire department's pumper wasn't clear.

Carpentieri originally said the fire truck was owned by the Hot Springs Volunteer Fire Department but corrected that information late Saturday.

Burke is listed as chief of the Millboro Volunteer Fire Department. Cauthorn is a firefighter there.

Representatives for the department and the sheriff's office couldn't be reached Saturday. The crash is under investigation.

Copyright 2013 The Roanoke Times

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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