|Posey Dillon, Danny Altice were answering call|
Posey Dillon (right) is pictured above with Danny Altice during a ceremony in February 2008 when Altice was presented a lifetime achievement award by the Rocky Mount Town Council. They were killed Tuesday afternoon in a collision with a car while responding to a call.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Rocky Mount Fire Chief and Vice Mayor Posey Dillon and longtime fireman William D. "Danny" Altice were killed today in an accident in Rocky Mount involving a town fire truck and two automobiles.
According to Virginia State Police First Sgt. Mike Bailey, the fire truck was dispatched to a structure fire in Union Hall and was traveling east through the intersection of Rt. 40 East and School Board Road (in front of Sheetz) when a car pulled out from School Board Road into the intersection.
The car, a 2007 Ford Escape driven by Terry Valentine, 41, of Rocky Mount, struck the rear of the fire truck, which then hit the curb on the other side of the road and flipped, landing on top of another car, a 2000 Mustang driven by Carolyn Puckett, 47, of Bassett.
Dillon and Altice, who were the only occupants of the fire truck, were both thrown from the truck, Bailey said.
The fire truck was hauling about 1,000 gallons of water and the weight may have shifted when it hit the curb, Bailey said, adding that the truck rolled "up to three times" before landing upside down on the Mustang, which was stopped at the light in the westbound lane of Rt. 40.
Valentine and Puckett were the only occupants of their vehicles, and both were transported to Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital, where they were treated and released, he said.
Police said the traffic light was red for Rt. 40 traffic, and the fire truck did a "rolling stop" as it was going through with lights flashing and sirens sounding.
Witnesses are being interviewed and surveillance cameras from nearby businesses are also being examined to piece together exactly what happened, he said.
The accident occurred about 4:30 p.m. and Rt. 40 was closed in both directions for several hours.
Dillon had served on town council for 24 years, including 10 years as vice mayor, and was re-elected vice mayor by council earlier this month. He had been fire chief for 20 years.
Altice joined the fire department in 1963 and served as chief from 1977 to 1984. He was presented a lifetime achievement award by town council in 2008.