Virginia Firefighter Ejected, Killed When Tanker Skids

Feb. 13--CAPON BRIDGE, W.Va. -- A Frederick County, Va., volunteer firefighter was killed when the fire truck he was riding on crashed on U.S. Route 50 in Hampshire County early Monday during a structure fire operation.

Gore Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department member Zachary Whitacre, 21, was pronounced dead at Winchester (Va.) Medical Center following the 4:08 a.m. crash, according to West Virginia Senior Trooper E.V. Vaubel of the Romney detachment.

Police said Zachary Whitacre was riding on the rear of a 1986 Ford fire tanker being driven by his father, Donald Whitacre. The vehicle was traveling from the scene of the fire on Timber Ridge Road to the Capon Bridge Volunteer Fire Company to refill the tanker with water.

Donald Whitacre reportedly lost control of the fire truck on the icy road, causing the vehicle to slide and strike an embankment.

Police said Zachary Whitacre was ejected and died as a result of his injuries after being taken to the hospital by the Gore Rescue Company.

Capon Bridge, Augusta, North River, Gore and Gainesville volunteer fire and rescue companies provided assistance.

The fire was reported to the Hampshire County 911 center at 3:18 a.m. Additional details about the fire were not available.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.