Update — Three teenagers in Hancock County, West Virginia were killed Saturday — two instantly — when they collided head-on with a responding New Manchester Volunteer Fire Department fire truck, law enforcement officials said.
Three firefighters also sustained injuries in the crash Saturday night on Route 8 near Tomlinson Run State Park in New Manchester. They were treated at an area hospital and by Sunday afternoon had been released.
At about 9 p.m. Saturday, the fire truck was responding northbound on Route 8 to a reported chimney fire, when the vehicle driven by a 16-year-old collided with the unit.
Hancock County Sheriff Ralph A. Fletcher said the teens’ vehicle was traveling southbound when it crossed into the northbound lanes in an attempt to overtake another vehicle.
“Evidence on the roadway, in conjunction with the witness statements, indicates the passenger vehicle attempted to pull back onto the southbound lane, however unsuccessfully,” he said.
The 16-year-old driver of the car, Kristyn Butcher, and 16-year-old passenger Kaylin Blake Rice were pronounced dead at the scene. The third teen, 16-year-old John Emmett Snow III, succumbed to his injuries at an area hospital. The three students reportedly all went to Oak Glen High School and were attending a school-related sporting event together, WTOV9.com reported.
New Manchester Engine 52 was enroute to a chimney fire in a residence, staffed with six firefighters, when the accident happened. Despite three firefighters being injured, the entire crew immediately tended to the occupants of the teens’ vehicle, Assistant Chief Chad Lamp said in a statement released Sunday night.
“Our thoughts and concerns go out to the families and friends of the victims of this horrific incident as well as to the firefighters and other emergency responders who were involved and assisted,” Lamp said. “This event will have a lasting and far-reaching impact on our community with the lives of many people involved both directly and indirectly changed forever.”
Numerous area fire and rescue departments responded to the scene including New Cumberland Ambulance Service, Life Team Ambulance Service, and the New Manchester, New Cumberland and Newell volunteer fire departments.
On Twitter, friends and area residents are showing their support for the victims with the hashtag #PrayersForOakGlen. The same is true on Facebook, where users are changing their profile photo to either the high school’s logo or a combination (pictured above) with prayers for the fire department and school.
The investigation is ongoing.