Va. Fire Truck, Trooper's Cruiser Collide; Three Hurt

The driver of the Hot Springs fire truck is in serious condition, the trooper and another firefighter were released.


A state trooper and two Bath County firefighters were hospitalized Friday night when the trooper's cruiser crashed into a fire truck, officials said.

The trooper and one of the volunteer firefighters had been treated and released by this morning, though another firefighter remained hospitalized in serious condition.

Virginia State Police spokesman Sgt. Rob Carpentieri said the wreck happened about 8:30 p.m. Friday on U.S. 220 in Warm Springs near Virginia 39.

Trooper G.W. Johnson Jr. was traveling north with his "emergency equipment activated" headed to assist the Bath County Sheriff's Office with a domestic call, Carpentieri said.

As he crested a hill, Johnson struck a Hot Springs Volunteer Fire Department pumper pulling onto U.S. 220 from a side road. It wasn't immediately clear if the fire truck had its lights and siren on or was headed to a call.

Carpentieri said Johnson was airlifted to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Spokesman Eric Earnhart said he'd been discharged by this morning.

The driver of the fire truck, 74-year-old Robert Leon Burke of Millboro, was taken to Bath County Community Hospital and later transferred to Roanoke Memorial. Earnhart said he was in serious condition this morning.

A passenger in the fire truck, Richard Mason Cauthorn III, 65, of Millboro, was taken to Bath County Community Hospital as well. A representative there said he'd been discharged by this morning.

The Ford Crown Victoria that Johnson was driving was totaled in the collision, Carpentieri said. The condition of the fire department's pumper wasn't clear.

Representatives for the Hot Springs Volunteer Fire Department and the Bath County Sheriff's Office couldn't immediately be reached.