Fire chief injured in truck accident in Washington County, Mo.

9:49 PM, Mar 25, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Mo. (KSDK) - Authorities say a fire chief was seriously injured when a Potosi tanker fire truck overturned in Washington County, Mo. Monday.

Trooper Wheatley with the Missouri State Highway Patrol says the accident happened around 4:11 p.m. as the truck traveled west on Highway 47, north of State Highway E.

The 52-year-old Chief Rick Knight was driving the truck when it started to veer to the right shoulder. He overcorrected, which caused the water in the tank to shift, causing the truck to be pulled to the left side of the road, rolling down the highway and overturn.

Chief Knight was taken to St. Anthony's Medical Center in south St. Louis County with serious injuries including broken bones.

"Rick has been our chief for the past six years, had done an excellent job has a lot of training, he's a good coordinator, has a lot of experience, he's a hazmat, he's just a good guy overall," said department board member and volunteer firefighter Randy Eaton.

"We had to use the Jaws to get him out, he was stuck, he was pretty much pinned," described Eaton. "We used the spreaders to open the doors, spread the doors open and we could get him out, he did have some contusions to his head."

The tanker was full of water, carrying 2,000 gallons, which adds more than 16,000 pounds to the vehicle. 

"Rick knows what he's doing, he's been there, he's done that. It's just the conditions weren't right," said Eaton.

The fire district covers 385 square miles of Washington County. With Monday's accident, the district is down to five tanker trucks.


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