Apparatus, Fire Department, News

Jury Picked for Fatal Rocky Mount (VA) Fire Apparatus Crash

More than three years have passed since two volunteer firefighters in Rocky Mount (VA) died after their fire truck collided with an SUV at an intersection.

Franklin County Circuit Court hosted the first phase of a trial tied to a lawsuit filed by Christie Altice-Weaver, a daughter of one of the firefighters killed that day and executor of his estate.

The trial, which is scheduled to run three days, began with jury selection, a process that required more than three and a half hours to select nine jurors. All nine will hear the case, but only seven will deliberate at the trial’s conclusion.

Altice-Weaver’s lawsuit alleges that negligence by the woman driving the SUV, Teri Anne Valentine, and/or the firefighter driving the fire truck, Posey Dillon, led to the collision and to the death of her father, William “Danny” Altice.

On the afternoon of July 26, 2010, Dillon, 59, and Altice, 67, his passenger, were responding to the report of a house fire in Union Hall with possible entrapment of a person inside.

At the intersection of Virginia 40 and School Board Road, Valentine’s 2007 Ford Escape struck the eastbound fire truck. An investigation by Virginia State Police Trooper R.D. Conley determined that Valentine had a green light and Dillon faced a red light.

Altice-Weaver’s lawsuit contends that Valentine should have yielded the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle with siren and lights engaged. And it suggests Dillon, as reported by Conley, “failed to proceed through the red light with due regard to safety.”

The lawsuit seeks a judgment of $2 million “plus taxable costs with interest from July 26, 2010 to the present.” Valentine is one defendant. And Ann Dillon , as administrator of Posey Dillon’s estate, is the other.

For more information, view www.roanoke.com