“The hospital is overwhelmed, the police are overwhelmed, we’re all overwhelmed,”

PRATT, West Virginia (Gazette Mail)- Two volunteer firefighters are dead and three are injured after their truck flipped over on the West Virginia Turnpike while responding to a triple fatality on Interstate-77 Saturday evening, according to Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper.

The Pratt Volunteer Fire Department firefighters were heading toward the I-77 crash when their truck flipped and hit a rock wall near Paint Creek, Carper said. The three other firefighters’ injuries were “serious,” Gazette Mail reported.

The triple fatality the firefighters were responding to was the result of a vehicle traveling the wrong way on I-77 South and colliding head on with another vehicle, according to Capt. Reggie Patterson, spokesman for the West Virginia State Police. Patterson said he was “not sure if there were others in the cars” involved in that crash.

The injured firefighters are receiving treatment at Charleston Area Medical Center. Carper said further information, including names or the extent of their injuries, would not be released at this time.

“The hospital is overwhelmed, the police are overwhelmed, we’re all overwhelmed,” said Carper, who was at the hospital with the firefighters. “The doctors and nurses here are doing all that they can for the firefighters. Now all we can do is hope for the best.”

In a news release, Carper said the incident could be “the worst accident … our volunteer fire service has ever suffered.”

Patterson said two State Police detachments are investigating the crashes — the Quincy State detachment on the firetruck crash, and the Turnpike detachment on the I-77 wreck.


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