The chief of the Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department was killed in a crash while en route to the station Thursday night and the assistant chief was critically injured.
Fire Chief David Flint was driving his personal vehicle and Assistant Chief Sharon Petri was in the passenger seat when the collision occurred about five miles from the firehouse on New Road in Erie County, Capt. Jim O'Hara told Firehouse.com Friday morning.
He said that the department's members are just now coming to grips with their loss as it begins to set in.
"They've taken it like one might think they would," he said. "We've had a very long night."
The crash occurred as the 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier Flint and Petri were in going westbound on Route 6-N in Washington Township was struck head-on around 6:45 p.m. by an eastbound 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee that had crossed the centerline.
Petri was extricated from the wreckage and was flown to UPMC Hamot in critical condition and was listed in stable condition as of Friday morning.
Flint was transported by ambulance to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The driver of the Jeep, Joshua Nickerson, was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. His condition is unknown at this time.
Flint and Petri were on their way to the station to participate in a weekly training drill and O'Hara said that the crash occurred just 15 minutes before the drill was set to take place.
The 49-year-old chief served close to 10 years with the department and has been its leader for six years.
"He's one of the smartest guys I know," O'Hara. "He was a very smart, very compassionate man. I don't think there was any part of the fire service that he didn't know anything about."
Funeral arrangements for Flint are pending.
Firehosue.com will provide more information on this story as it becomes available.