Associated Press Published

W.Va. Firefighter Killed In Crash While Responding To Fire

A firetruck outside Smithers, WV, warns travelers of a mudslide that obscured half the road.

A West Virginia firefighter was killed when a volunteer fire department’s truck crashed while responding to an emergency call, authorities said.

Mark Horwich died Saturday when the fire truck went off a narrow road en route to a structure fire in Roane County, the city of Spencer said on Facebook.

The accident happened near the community of Newton. WSAZ-TV reported the force of the crash crushed the cab of the fire truck.

Horwich was a member of the Clover Volunteer Fire Department. Gov. Jim Justice said on Twitter.

It wasn’t known whether other firefighters were on the truck or if anyone else was injured.

“Our volunteer firefighters are some of the most incredible (West Virginians) we have, because they run toward danger to protect us — out of the goodness of their hearts,” Justice said.

Justice said he and his wife, Cathy, “send our deepest condolences to his family and the entire community.”

Horwich also was the co-owner of a business that developed recordkeeping software for fire departments.

On the Facebook page of Fire Station Software LLC, Horwich’s wife, Sarah Ferrell Horwich, said her husband died at the scene of the accident.

“Our family, his children, and his fire family and friends request your prayers at this time,” she said. “Mark Horwich was a dedicated man who loved his family dearly, loved the fire service, and he loved this business which he started from scratch and grew to what it is today. Many of our clients have become friends.”

The Roane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the accident, which closed the road for several hours.

“His family, his fire department, and our community is devastated by this sudden tragedy,” said the statement from the city of Spencer. “We are so grateful for our service personnel of all departments and are deeply moved by the loss of fireman Horwich in the line of duty. We acknowledge the danger you put yourselves in when the call for help goes out and appreciate your sacrifice. Again, our sincere condolences and sympathies.”