N.C. Firefighter Critically Injured in Rollover Crash

A firefighter with the Hugh's Pond Volunteer Fire Department is in critical condition after he rolled his personal pickup truck five times while responding to a fire call Tuesday night, according to The Gaston Gazette.

Firefighter Clayton Thornburg, 17, was driving a 1997 Ford pickup truck with a red light flashing on Hepzibah Church Road at approximately 10:37 p.m. when he went off the right side of the road and hit a patch of snow and ice, North Carolina Highway Patrol Sgt. John Brodhage told the newspaper.

His truck barrel rolled five times before coming to a rest. Although he was wearing a seat belt, a witness said he was partially ejected from the vehicle.

Thornburg was transported by ambulance to Cleveland Regional Medical Center in Shelby and then flown to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

He was listed in critical condition as of 10:30 a.m. this morning (Dec. 30), the report said. According to a tribute website his family set up, he sustained a large fracture in his skull and also has nerve damage in his shoulder

Hugh's Pond firefighters are currently coping with the situation as their brother clings to his life.

"He's just a great guy -- very well trained," Firefighter Lewis McSwain told the newspaper. "He's the most kind-hearted person you'll ever meet."

Firehouse.com will provide more information on this story as it becomes available.