AFD pumper totaled during return from fire

The totaled firetruck

Two firefighters escaped serious injury Saturday when the Atmore Fire Department pumper truck they were riding in overturned.

The truck was totaled when it overturned early Saturday (Dec. 31) as firefighters were returning from a three-hour-plus battle against a house fire that erupted late Friday night.

According to a report filed by Alabama State Troopers, the truck was being driven eastward along Carver Street when the mishap occurred. Firefighters had moments earlier cleared the scene of a blaze that gutted a Liberty Street home and damaged two cars in the house’s yard.

Trooper Anthony C. Odom states in the report’s narrative that the driver of the firetruck, Volunteer Capt. Jerry Glenn Kelley, 43, of Atmore, “was driving too fast for the curve and ran off the left side of the roadway.” The report shows that Kelley was driving 45 mph, which is the posted speed limit where the accident occurred, at 1:05 a.m.

Odom further states that the pumper, a 1985 Hurricane, “overturned and came to an uncontrolled final rest in a ditch.”

The vehicle’s windshield was knocked out by the impact, and its left side was severely dented, especially the portion nearest the cab. AFD personnel worked Tuesday morning to remove any salvageable trucks parts or fire-suppression equipment from the damaged pumper.

Kelley and volunteer firefighter Thomas N. Yoho, 29, of Century, Fla. were taken by Atmore Ambulance Service medics to Atmore Community Hospital, where each was reportedly treated for minor injuries and released.

Kelley told the investigating trooper that he and Yoho “were returning from a call when he missed the road.” He reportedly added that he “applied the brakes too hard and slid off the roadway, losing control of the vehicle.”

Fire Chief Ron Peebles said early Tuesday that he had not seen a copy of the trooper report and could not comment on the incident until he had examined the document.