Fallen Oklahoma firefighter is a huge loss for the department, community

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Green Country community remembers fallen firefighter

LEACH, Okla. – We’re learning more about an Oklahoma firefighter who was killed in the line of duty this week.

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, 68-year-old Michael Dale Russell, lost control of the tanker truck.

Investigators say Russell was driving southbound on a county road when the truck 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.

Fire officials in Leach tell FOX 23 that Russell was a huge part of the department and the community.

“He was always one of the first guys I could call to come help me on anything,” said Chief Tom Pearce, with the Leach Fire Department.

Russell was described as kind and soft-spoken. However, he could be stern when needed.

He worked for the fire department for nine years and served as the manager of Rural Water District 11 in Delaware County.

This is the first time the Leach Fire Department has lost a firefighter in the line of duty.

Fire officials say they will rely on neighboring departments until they get a new tanker,.

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