Following a fire truck turnover moments after the New Year was rung in, emergency personnel and residents now questioning the safety of Little Coal River Road in the Alum Creek area.
The Davis Creek Volunteer Fire Department was responding to structure fire in Alum Creek, along with Alum Creek and Loudendale Fire Departments.
En route, Davis Creek Fire Chief Jeff Snodgrass explained the driver’s front right-hand tire dropped off the narrow road. As he tried to veer the truck back up, the road couldn’t support the weight and slipped beneath them, causing the engine to turnover onto the guardrail.
“I’ve been a firefighter for 38 years. That section of road has always been a troubled spot. It’s in the bend of the Coal River, the river coming up against it, the loose soil on the river back. They’ve had several slippages in that area, so yes, the road was a lot of the factor,” said Snodgrass.
The guardrail managed to support the truck for roughly two hours before giving way. Just enough time for the two crew members to get out safely. The truck however was totaled and only a few pieces of equipment were salvageable.
The Department of Highways failed to comment on the conditions of Little Coal River Road. There is no investigation at this time according to Snodgrass, just insurance claims to be taken care of.
This now leaves Davis Creek VFD with only one engine and a rescue truck. Snodgrass explained that the truck will not be replaced and response times could be slightly effected now.
This leave residents feeling slightly concerned, asking, “what if it was my home on fire?”
John Worley, a resident living along Little Coal River Road said, “it’s a big concern, but hopefully they’ll do something about it now since this accident happened, and I don’t see it being their fault because the road conditions are pretty bad. It’s pretty scary, leaning over the hill like that, they’re not going to be here to put the fire out, so that’s pretty serious.”
Kanawha County has a firetruck available when needed for all county departments to use in case an emergency.