Funeral arrangements set for Upstate fire chief killed in 18-whe - FOX Carolina 21

Funeral arrangements set for Upstate fire chief killed in 18-wheeler wreck

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David Wright (Source: Oconee Co. Fire Dept.) David Wright (Source: Oconee Co. Fire Dept.)
Scene of the accident along Highway 24 in Anderson County. (Sept. 16, 2013 FOX Carolina) Scene of the accident along Highway 24 in Anderson County. (Sept. 16, 2013 FOX Carolina)
ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

An 18-wheeler ran off the road and crashed into Lake Hartwell on Monday evening, killing the driver who was an Upstate fire chief.

The truck was headed west along Highway 24 when it went off the road, hit the guardrail and plunged off the double bridges, according to the Highway Patrol. Coroner Greg Shore said the truck blew a tire before running off the road.

Taylor Jones, of Anderson Emergency Services, said the response time was less than a minute from the first call they received. But Shore says it took divers about 30 minutes to free the driver from inside the truck, which had been submerged.

The driver was taken to AnMed Health where he later died. Officials said a passenger in the truck sustained minor injuries.

The driver was identified as David Wright on Monday night. Wright was a Friendship Volunteer Fire Chief, according to Oconee County Fire Chief Charlie King.

King said Wright was driving the truck for his father's business at the time of the crash.

Wright was the Friendship Volunteer Fire Chief and was a career captain with the Seneca Fire Department, nearing his 24th year. His fellow firefighters with Seneca shared some memories of Wright with FOX Carolina on Tuesday.

They said he had gotten off work Monday morning before the wreck. They said he was about two years from retirement and was passionate about his family, friends and working as a firefighter.

"It is with great sadness to announce the death of Friendship Volunteer Fire Chief David Wright...," said King. "Oconee County lost a great man this evening. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and those left to carry on."

Flags flew at half-staff at the Seneca Fire Department on Tuesday. His co-workers said they heard about the wreck on the radios Monday, but did not realize he was involved until later that night.

The bridge was closed into the early morning hours of Tuesday but has since reopened. Hazmat crews also assisted in the cleanup of fuel from the wreck.

"We are going to be picking absorbent up later with a contractor to make sure all the environmental issues are addressed, also make sure there aren't any other safety issues now that it's daylight," Jones said Tuesday.

Troopers have not released any further details about how the wreck happened.

Seneca Fire Department said funeral arrangements have been made for Wright.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 5 p.m. at Oglesby Funeral Home in Seneca. The funeral will be on Thursday Sept. 19 at 2 p.m. at Hepsibah Baptist Church on Friendship Road. The funeral will be followed by the burial on the church grounds, with full firefighter honors.

Hepsibah Baptist Church is located almost directly across from the friendship volunteer fire department where Wright was chief.

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