Reporter: David Tate
Rocky Mount, VA - Tragedy Monday in Franklin County as two members of Rocky Mount's Volunteer Fire Department were killed while making their way to a house fire. Killed were the town's fire chief and vice mayor, Posey Dillon and William "Danny" Altice -- both of Rocky Mount. Dillon served on town council for 24 years.
Lorena Garcia, Witness - "It's a very tough day."
As Lorena Garcia watches emergency crews cleanup this mess... and State Police try to reconstruct what happened late Monday afternoon... she's having trouble processing what she has just seen.
Garcia - "The truck just flipped over the Mustang... I don't know how it flipped over the Mustang, but it did and landed on top of the Mustang."
State Police say a Ford Escape broad-sided the truck as it sped through the intersection on the way to a fire in eastern Franklin County.
Sgt. Michael Bailey/Virginia State Police - "The fire truck was, of course, trying to avoid it... hit the curb. It was loaded with 1,000 gallons of water. Weight shift and other factors caused the truck to roll over."
Not just once, but three times, coming to a stop only after landing on a Mustang. Both firefighters were thrown from the truck... both died shortly after. The women driving the Escape and Mustang were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. While investigators spend the evening piecing together what happened... dozens of townspeople came to the scene to watch. And slowly as the news of who was killed in this accident made its way around, grief set in on this small town after the realization that two of Rocky Mount's biggest heroes are gone forever.
Garcia - "It's going to be very hard to get over this."
Early indications suggest the fire truck did have its emergency lights and sirens activated before the crash - but neither firefighter was wearing a safety belt.
State Police say charges against the driver of the Escape, 41-year-old Terry Valentine, may be forthcoming once investigators complete their report.