Zachary Whitacre dies in tanker West Virginia crash

Zach Whitacre (Photo courtesy Facebook)

ROMNEY, W.Va. (AP) - A volunteer firefighter from Gore, Va., is dead after the tanker truck his father was driving crashed on a mutual aid call in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle.

State Police identified the victim as 21-year-old Zachary Whitacre. He and his father, Donald, were helping with a structure fire in the Hampshire County town of Capon Bridge and left the scene around 4 a.m. to refill the tanker with water Monday.

Police say Donald Whitacre lost control of the truck on ice-covered U.S. Route 50 and slid into an embankment. His son was ejected from the back of the truck. Zachary Whitacre was pronounced dead at Winchester Medical Center in Virginia.

Donald is struggling with the tragedy that unfolded. The firehouse was in mourning Monday and the flag was at half-staff.

Zachary had worked in the lumber business until times got tough and he became a volunteer firefighter.