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The public is invited to attend the dedication of a reading bench, honoring the late Hank Bruining on Friday, at 3 p.m. at the SVHEC Innovation Center, outside the Welding…

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Firefighter dies en route to call

South Boston News
Josh Smith
SoVaNow.com / December 18, 2013
Josh Smith, a member of the La Crosse Volunteer Fire Department, died in a single-car accident on Rocky Branch Road just south of High Street (SR 618) while responding to a fire call around 2:45 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.

His death stunned the La Crosse community and the ranks of Mecklenburg County’s emergency responders.

“Smith just joined the department in September, but in that time he touched the lives of everyone he came in contact with,” said La Crosse Fire Chief Mike Clark. “He will be greatly missed by the department, community and town.”

Smith was 25.

Virginia State Trooper J.J. Hite was the first on the scene. He reported that Smith’s vehicle, a 2003 Cadillac CTS, crossed over the centerline of Rocky Branch Road. Smith appeared to have overcorrected, causing the vehicle to veer off to the right where it struck a concrete structure before overturning.

Smith was transported from the scene for medical treatment but died shortly after the accident happened.

It was raining at the time, but Hite’s report did not indicate if weather was a factor.

Smith had already completed his departmental training and was scheduled to take Firefighter I training in January, said Clark.

He leaves behind his mother and twin brother. Flags in the town of La Crosse are being flown at half-staff in his memory.

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