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Published: Tuesday, 7/8/2008

Volunteer firefighter killed in Wyandot County traffic crash


UPPER SANDUSKY, Ohio A fire truck driver for the Pitt Township Volunteer Fire Department died in a hospital Monday night about two hours after his truck crashed on State Rt. 294 near U.S. 23 en route to the scene of an injury accident, authorities said.

Richard Kear, 58, of Harpster, Ohio, the fire truck driver, was pronounced dead about 9:55 p.m. at Grant Memorial Hospital in Columbus, the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

Mr. Kear was driving on Route 294 to the scene of an injury crash on the state route west of U.S. 23 in Wyandot County s Pitt Township about 8 p.m. when the truck drove off the right side of the road and overturned, coming to rest in a culvert. Mr. Kear was thrown from the vehicle.

The only passenger in the truck, Darrin Rowland, also of Harpster, crawled out of the truck and administered first aid to Mr. Kear until emergency crews arrived. Mr. Rowland was treated at Wyandot Memorial Hospital, troopers said.

The cause of the fatal crash was under investigation. No details about the other crash were released Tuesday morning.

Upper Sandusky is about 60 miles south of Toledo.

The victims' names were not immediately available.

The accident occurred about five miles from the fire to which the firetruck had been dispatched. A Wyandot East crew was summoned on mutual aid as a substitute to extinguish a residential garage fire.

Harpster is about 65 miles southeast of Toledo.

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