Funeral services with full fire department honors are set for Thursday for a Georgia firefighter killed Saturday when the engine he was operating crashed on a rural road and split in two.
Captain Kevin Joe Foster, 41, a 17-year veteran of the Ellerslie Volunteer Fire Company, was driving the department's only engine to a fire on Saturday when it veered off the road. Officials believe the water started rocking, which prevented him from regaining control of the vehicle.
The 1990 E-One split in two after crashing into a tree. The wreck happened at an abandoned railroad bed, described as a "very rough spot."
Officers in the tiny department outside Columbus said their colleague's death will impact the community. "It was a terrible weekend for us...He was a really great guy, one of our long-time members," said Ricky Gordon, chairman of the board of directors. "He also was a dedicated father with two small children."
Chief Scott Davis said Foster will be missed as he was a person everyone came to depend on. The captain was one of the most active in the department that responds to two or three calls a month.
The chief said Foster had left one call, and was headed to another when the crash occurred Saturday, a rare occurrence for the department.
"He was a helluva BBQ cook, too," the chief said. "When the company decided to step out on its own this year, and go solo on the event, he made it happen."
Gordon said Foster was an experienced firefighter, and very safety conscience. He was one others looked to for help.
Davis said he has contacted the county to borrow an engine until their new one arrives in May.
Visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16 at McMullen Funeral Home in Columbus, Ga.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at East Highland United Methodist Church in Columbus.
Fire personnel with questions about the funeral detail should call Chief Davis at 706-457-1679.