LEACH, Okla. – Less than three months after thieves targeted a volunteer fire department, tragedy has struck.
In December, thieves broke into the Leach Fire Department and stole a rescue vehicle.
Hours later, a pilot for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol discovered the damaged trucks in a field in Cherokee County.
It was a huge blow to a volunteer fire department, but now they have been hit with a tragedy.
Officials with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol say fire crews from the Leach Fire Department were responding to a call about a structure fire around 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday when the driver lost control of the tanker truck.
Investigators say 68-year-old Michael Dale Russell was driving the tanker truck southbound on a county road when it ran off the roadway. Authorities say Russell overcorrected, rolling the tanker truck.
Russell was ejected from the driver’s side window and was pinned underneath the truck for two hours.
Sadly, Russell was pronounced dead at the scene from massive injuries.
At this point, the cause of the collision is still under investigation.