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Thread: New Orleans Fire Captain Killed, Two Injured When Truck Flips Over

  1. #1
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    New Orleans Fire Captain Killed, Two Injured When Truck Flips Over

    New Orleans Fire Captain Killed, Two Injured When Truck Flips Over

    Updated: 12-02-2005 08:46:04 PM

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    A New Orleans fire captain was killed and two firefighters were injured while responding to a call in New Orleans East on Friday.

    Capt. Richard McCurley, 33, was killed and two firefighters injured when their fire truck flipped over while they were responding to a routine call about a gas leak.

    The accident happened just before 1:30 p.m. at the intersection of Chef Menteur Highway and Read Boulevard.

    According to investigators, 49-year-old Kirk Barbaran, an NOFD fireman along with the fire captain and another fireman, were headed west on Chef Menteur Highway in the fire truck with its lights and sirens on, when it veered to the right to keep from striking an 18-wheeler.

    The fire truck missed the semi but struck the front end of a minivan carrying several independent insurance contractors working for Allstate Catastrophe. The fireman apparently lost control of the truck and ran off the side of the road, flipping over at least once.

    The NOFD Captain was pronounced dead on scene and the two other firemen were treated for injuries at local hospitals. The occupants of the minivan were also treated for minor injuries. The driver of the semi was not hurt.

    Toxicology tests are pending for all drivers. No charges have been filed at this time.

    The New Orleans Police Department will handle the on-going investigation.

  2. #2
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    Young New Orleans Fire Captain Killed When Truck Overturns
    Unit was Responding to Gas Leak, Swerved to Avoid 18-Wheeler

    By Walt Philbin, Staff Writer
    Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

    A New Orleans fire captain was killed Friday afternoon when his fire truck swerved to avoid an 18-wheeler at an eastern New Orleans intersection and struck a minivan before rolling over in a ditch , authorities said.

    Capt. Richard B. McCurley, a 12-year NOFD veteran who drew praise from fire Superintendent Charles Parent for his participation in many rescues in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, died at the scene. In the moments before his death, witnesses said the severely injured leader mustered the strength to use his radio to call emergency medical workers to the scene to treat two other firefighters and two civilians who suffered injuries in the crash.

    "He was an excellent young captain who did some fine rescue-work for us during Katrina," said Parent, speaking in slow measured tones. "We've always been a close-knit group here at the Fire Department, but Katrina pulled us even closer; and he and I personally had grown closer and I had great respect for him."

    The accident is under investigation and no charges have been filed. The condition of two firefighters was unknown late Friday.

    Kirk Barbarin, 49, a 26-year veteran who was driving the fire truck, was at Ochsner Foundation Hospital. Terry James, 44, a seven-year veteran, riding in the back seat, was taken to East Jefferson Hospital.

    The two occupants of the van were taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries, police spokeswoman Jonette Williams said. The driver was identified by police as Paul Moore, 62, of County, Texas.

    The driver of the 18-wheeler, Martin Kuylen, 50, of Covington, wasn't injured. His truck, a disaster relief vehicle that picked up debris and brought it to the dump, was unhurt. Representatives of an unidentified private company and the Army Corps of Engineers, both involved in the debris-collecting operation, were at the scene.

    The fire truck was traveling west on Chef Menteur Highway about 1:20 p.m., en route to a gas leak call with its siren blaring and lights flashing, when it approached the intersection of Chef Menteur Highway and Read Boulevard. Since Katrina, stop signs have replaced traffic lights at the intersection. The 18-wheeler, heading north after dropping off storm debris at the dump nearby, entered the intersection, and the fire truck swerved to the right to avoid it, police said.

    The fire truck first struck the front of the van, which was stopped at the stop sign and headed south on Read. The fire truck went into a ditch alongside Chef Menteur Highway, and flipped at least once, coming to rest on its side. The crash fatally injured McCurley, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. Barbarin, the driver, was ejected. James was temporarily trapped in the back of the truck, but extricated by responding firefighters.

    In his last moments, McCurley was still trying to "call for help for his men" as he lay dying, Parent said.

    Two National Guardsman who came to the scene from their post on Read Boulevard confirmed the fire captain was calling for assistance as they arrived. They rushed a chaplain from their unit across the street and administered last rites to McCurley in the moments before he died, they said.

    Mayor Ray Nagin also responded to the scene, already wearing black clothes from attending a funeral. He extended condolences to the McCurley's fellow firefighters and wife. "It makes you wonder when we're going to get out of this misery," Nagin said.

    In a poignant punctuation of the moment, many of McCurley's fellow firefighters stood on a stretch of Chef Menteur Highway more than three hours after the accident and delivered a solemn salute as the coroner's white van rolled away from the scene.

    "To think, for this to happen as he was responding to a gas leak," said NOFD Chief Norman Woodridge.

  3. #3
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    McCurley, Richard

    Age: 33
    Cause of Death: Vehicle Collision
    Rank: Captain
    Nature of Death: Trauma
    Classification: Career
    Emergency Duty: Yes

    Incident Date: 12/02/2005
    Duty Type: Responding
    Incident Time: 13:20
    Activity Type: Riding Vehicle/Apparatus
    Death Date: 12/02/2005
    Fixed Prop. Use: Street/Road

    Fire Dept. Info:
    New Orleans Fire Department
    317 Decatur St.
    New Orleans , Louisiana 70130-1023
    Chief: Superintendent Charles Parent

    Initial Summary:
    Captain McCurley died from injuries received when the fire apparatus he was riding in was involved in a vehicle accident while responding to a reported gas leak. Funeral Arrangements: 12/09/2005, Visitation from 1000-1400hrs with funeral service to follow @ St. Louis Cathedral, 615 Pere Antoine Alley, New Orleans.

    Memorial Fund Info:
    In memory of Captain Richard McCurley, C/o New Orleans Fire Department, 317 Decatur St., New Orleans, LA 70130-1023

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