Ohio Firefighter's Death Puzzles Authorities

Authorities are still puzzled as to why a firefighter who had responded to a crash scene is dead.

The Portsmouth Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol reports that around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Rocky E. Dunkin, 24, a full-time member of the New Boston Fire Department, who had also been working as a Nile Township volunteer firefighter, was at the scene of an injury crash on U.S. 52 near Friendship, when he fell unconscious while he was in the process of assisting medical personnel.

He was discovered by fellow firefighters and transported to Southern Ohio Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at about 3:15 a.m.

Scioto County Coroner Dr. Darren Adams said Dunkin was taken to the Montgomery County Coroner's Office for an autopsy.

New Boston Fire Chief Chris Bender said his department is mourning the loss of one its best firefighters.

"He had been on the fire department for about five months. He got hired in February," Bender said. "I have known him since he was little, around here in New Boston. He played sports. He was an excellent young man. You couldn't ask for a better person. He was great to work with. He was just a fine young man."

Lt. Karla Taulbee, Commander of the Portsmouth Post, said authorities have ruled out electrocution, which had been speculated by some sources at the scene. The incident remains under investigation.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service