Ware County firefighter dies in rollover fire truck crash

WARE COUNTY, Ga. – A firefighter with Ware County Fire Rescue died Thursday when the fire truck he was riding in overturned in a crash.

A message from Fire Chief Dee Meadows on the WCFR Facebook page identified the firefighter as Bobby “Blue” Smith.

“Please keep his family, friends and Ware County Fire Rescue in your thoughts and prayers in the upcoming days,” Meadows wrote.

According to Georgia State Patrol, troopers responded at 12:40 p.m. Thursday to Manor-Millwood Road near Manor Waresboro Road in Ware County for a single-vehicle deadly crash.

The crash investigation determined that a firefighter was driving the county fire truck south on Manor-Millwood Road and the truck traveled off the roadway onto the west shoulder and lost control.

The truck then spun counterclockwise as it flipped across the roadway before hitting a tree and landing on its passenger side in the ditch.

Smith, who was the front-seat passenger, died at the scene.

It’s unclear why the fire truck lost control, and the Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team is assisting GSP with the investigation into the crash.

News4JAX spoke to Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Union President Randy Wyse who said responding to calls is one of the most dangerous things a firefighter can do.

“Traffic. You know, a lot of people don’t get out of the way, you know, run the lights and sirens and really just trying to get there quickly, you know, to help the citizens that call but also do that safely,” he said.

And Wyse said trucks that size are heavy.

“Big trucks may not be heavy, but when you’re carrying as much water somewhere, sometimes up to 2,000 gallons of water, it gets extremely heavy. And those trucks act differently,” Wyse said.