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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Two firefighters hurt as truck rolls over

Two firefighters hurt as truck rolls over
TOWN OF NEWARK - A water tanker truck from the Orfordville Fire Department rolled over while responding to a fire and two firefighters were injured Monday.

Chad Cleasby, 31, of Orfordville, was flown by React helicopter to Rockford Memorial Hospital after the accident, and Michael Ponkauska, 54, of Orfordville was taken to Beloit Memorial Hospital. Both had non-life-threatening injuries.

The firefighters were responding at about 1:30 p.m. to a report of a vehicle on fire in a shed at 8314 W. St. Lawrence Road, about five miles west of Beloit. The truck full of water was southbound on South County Road H just south of West Mill Pond Road where the road makes an 80 degree turn to the right. An ambulance and fire truck made the sharp turn. However, as the tender truck made the turn it rolled over on County Road H. Several citizens saw the crash and called 911 and assisted the firefighters. Town of Beloit Police and Rock County Sheriff's Department officers responded to the accident.

Cleasby had freed himself from the cab, but Ponkauskas remained trapped in the cab until extrication equipment arrived.

The Rock County Sheriff's Department is conducting the investigation. Preliminary investigations indicate speed was a factor in the crash.

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