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Thread: Oregon Firefighter Killed in Crash

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    Oregon Firefighter Killed in Crash

    An Oregon firefighter died Sunday, August 19 when he lost control of a water tender and crashed into a tree along Interstate 84, about 30 miles east of Portland.

    John Hazlett, 52, served the Odell Rural Fire Protection District for more than 10 years.

    He was transporting an empty 3,000 gallon water tender back to Odell from the Portland area, where the vehicle had just been serviced.

    At about 12:45 p.m., as Hazlett was driving eastbound on I-84, the right front tire apparently blew out, said Odell's Lt. Devon Wells. The vehicle veered to the right and went off the highway, plowed through tall grass and into a heavily wooded area, and struck a tree head-on.

    Hazlett was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Responding agencies included the Oregon State Police, the Oregon Department of Transportation, Cascade Locks Fire and Rescue, and the Multnomah County Medical Examiner.

    The accident occurred outside the Odell department's jurisdiction, but Hazlett's fellow firefighters heard the dispatch. After they confirmed the information, department officials started notifying firefighters and Hazlett's family, Wells said.

    Most of the department's members came to the station for group crisis intervention. This was the first time they had dealt with a line of duty death, Wells said. There has only been one other LODD in the county, 12 years ago.

    In addition to his volunteer duties, Hazlett worked for the Oregon Department of Transportation for about 23 years.

    Wells said the firefighter loved his family and was very proud of them. Hazlett is survived by three daughters, a grandchild, his fiancee and two step children.

    He also loved the outdoors, and was an avid hunter and fisherman.

    But most of all, Hazlett is remembered for his joviality.

    "He was upbeat and happy. That's the biggest thing everybody remembers about him," Wells said. "He was a very uplifting person. He made the best of every situation."

    The Odell Rural Fire Protection District has 35 members and serves a population of 5,000 in 20 square miles.The volunteer department responds to about 200 calls per year.

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    Just wanted to say thank you for your support through the years. It's nice to see how firefighters are so supportive of one another and their families. Thank you!
    Echo Hazlett
    (John Hazlett's youngest daughter)

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