Township Seeks Solutions After Crash of Stolen Fire Truck
Ross County authorities say a man crashed a fire truck after stealing it from the Harrison Township Fire Department early Friday morning.
The Ross County Sheriff's Office said the truck was taken from the fire station on Charleston Pike shortly around midnight.
Surveillance video captured images of a man breaking a window to gain access to the building.
The man opened the overhead door and drove off with the township's Kenworth Fire Truck - one that was paid for with federal grant dollars.
"We have low money and low budget, and this is going to hurt a lot," said Harrison Township Fire Chief Bryon Thornton.
Township trustees met Friday evening to declare an emergency, a step that paves the way for a temporary replacement truck until their insurance comes through.
Thornton said he hopes insurance money will cover the cost of the truck, which was totaled.
Firefighters said the thief tipped the truck on two wheels before he smashed through a guard rail, hit the bottom of the bank, and flipped twice along Charleston Pike.
The driver of the fire truck, who investigators believe was the man who stole it, was ejected at the scene.
The fire chief said the thief destroyed their vehicle that belonged to the very firefighters who kept him breathing until a medical helicopter could make it to the scene. He was flown to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus for treatment.
"Hopefully the boy hasn't lost his life," the chief said. "I hope he doesn't die over it. It's just a terrible thing."
Authorities are still trying to identify the man, and said charges will be filed once he is named. Trapper said that drugs or alcohol could have played a role.
Thornton said they are looking to improve security at the fire station. "We've already got plans to do different things with the windows," he said. "We're going to update our security system a little more."
Part of the station's kitchen was damaged when the crook backed the truck into it. Much of the equipment that was on the truck was also destroyed.
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