Contract Firefighter Dies After Fall from Equipment in California

Contract Firefighter Curtis Ray Hillman Sr. died on Sept. 11 -- more than two weeks after suffering a head injury while operating a grader in Siskiyou County, Calif., according to U.S. Forest Service spokesman Mike Ferris.

Hillman, 77, was working for a construction firm under contract by the Forest Service to help work on road conditions to allow access for firefighters.

Ferris said while working on Aug. 25, Hillman had issues restarting the grader at one point. and when it restarted, if began to roll backwards. Hillman then either jumped or fell from the piece of equipment and hit his head.

He was flown to Mercy Medical Center in Redding, Calif., where he died from his injuries on Sept. 11.

Hillman was a Karuk Tribal Member and is survived by his wife, Susan Hillman, five children, 14 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.

Funeral Information

A memorial for Firefighter Hillman will be held on Saturday, Sept. 20 at 2 p.m. at the Happy Camp River Park Pavilion in Happy Camp, Calif.