Georgia Firefighter Killed in Rollover

STOCKTON, Ga. -- Tragedy struck a Lanier County firefighting family Monday as a wreck involving a fire truck killed one firefighter and injured his brother, according to a county fire official.

Derek North, riding in the passenger seat of a Stockton Fire Department truck, died when the truck overturned at the intersection of U.S. 84 and U.S. 129, said Gary Yeomans, district fire chief for Lanier County.

Derek North's brother, Chad, who was driving the truck, was injured and taken to South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta, Yeomans said.

The fire department dispatched trucks from two fire stations at 3:59 p.m. after an unknown caller reported an "out of control" fire at Lloyd Shaw Farms, Yeomans said.

The truck with the two North brothers, dispatched from Stockton FD station 2, swerved in the intersection to avoid a collision with cross-traffic and rolled over, Yeomans said. A second truck dispatched to the same call from Stockton FD station 1 was driven by Derek North's wife, Ruby, he said.

The "out of control" fire turned out to be a controlled burn, Yeomans said. As of Monday evening, he did not know Chad North's condition in the hospital.

Of the 10 volunteer firefighters in the Stockton Fire Department, five were from the North family, Yeomans said -- Dereck, Chad and Ruby, plus the brothers' father, Jimmy, the station chief, and Ryan, a third brother.

The Georgia State Patrol, the Lanier County Sheriff's Office and Lanier County Fire-Rescue were working the scene of the accident.

Republished with permission of The Valdosta Daily Times

Funeral Arrangements

Funeral services Firefighter North, are scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. at Southside Baptist Church in Lakeland, Georgia.

Burial will follow in Wayfare Cemetery in Echols County, Georgia.