Georgia Firefighter in 'Guarded Condition'

CORDELE, Ga. -- The Crisp County firefighter injured in a fiery Saturday-morning wreck that took the life of an Ohio man was in "guarded condition" Monday.

Tommy Hauesler suffered multiple injuries when the fire truck he was driving from Arabi to Cordele on U.S. Hwy. 41 North overturned after colliding with an 18-wheeler that was traveling west on Rockhouse Road. Hauesler, who was on his way to a training session at Crisp County Fire and Rescue Station 1 when the wreck happened, remains in the intensive care unit at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon.

Crisp County Fire Chief Ray Lunsford said doctors are monitoring internal bruising and burns in Hauesler's lungs, but that he responds when his name is called.

"He made it through the night okay but he's still having a little trouble breathing," Lunsford said.

While family members and friends pray for Hauesler's improvement, an Ohio family is grieving the loss of 33-year-old Shane Alan Waters, the driver of the 18-wheeler who died in the accident. Waters was a volunteer firefighter with the New Madison, Ohio, Fire Department.

Waters, who had served three years as a volunteer firefighter in New Madison, worked for Laux Farms in Darke County, Ohio, and was traveling on business when the accident took place.

"We're shaken up by this. This is the second man we've lost in the last 14 months, and they were both young," said Delbert Braund, public information officer with the New Madison, Ohio Fire Department.

Crisp County Coroner J.D. Rainey transported Waters' body Monday to the state crime lab in Atlanta where the exact cause of death can be determined. Waters died on the scene despite efforts by Crisp County EMS personnel and Crisp County Sheriff's deputies to rescue both him and Hauesler.

Republished with permission of The Cordele Dispatch.

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