Texas Firefighter Succumbs to Crash Injuries

The Tyler firefighter critically hurt responding to a tractor accident on Friday night succumbed to his injuries and died Monday evening, according to news reports.

According to KLTV 7, a television station broadcasting from Tyler, Texas, Jalen Smith, 20, of Tyler, a volunteer with the Jackson Heights Volunteer Fire Department, who was found outside of the vehicle that had rolled several times, died from the injuries he sustained in the wreck.

News reports said he had suffered severe head injuries and a broken back and had he survived, he likely would have been paralyzed and brain injured.

Smith, who was not the driver of the vehicle that rolled, was one of three firefighters in the privately owned vehicle responding to a call Friday night, according to the television station. The two other firefighters, Cornelius Redwine, 21, and Gary Robinson, 18, also both of Tyler were injured in the wreck and were treated and released on Friday night, after the wreck. All three men were treated at East Texas Medical Center according to the television station.

DPS Trooper Jean Dark told the television station the crash is under investigation, but preliminary reports indicate another vehicle may have pulled in front of the car carrying the three firefighters causing the driver to take evasive action, ran off the road rolling the vehicle several times. Smith was found outside the vehicle, Dark said.

KLTV 7 reported that Smith had been a junior firefighter for many years in the department of which his grandfather was a founding member. He was also about to be presented the department's rookie of the year award.

On Monday night, the members of the Jackson Heights Fire Department closed the doors to the station to mourn the loss of a brother while neighboring departments provided coverage for the community.

A memorial fund for Smith is being planned with details to be announced later this week.