Hit-and-Run Crash Claims S.C. Firefighter
68-Year-Old Volunteer Struck by 18-Wheeler at Accident Scene
A volunteer firefighter from Marietta, S.C. was killed this week when he was struck at the scene of an accident by a tractor-trailer which then fled the scene.
Lewis "Rawhide" Anderson, 68, of the River Falls Volunteer Fire Department, was directing traffic at an accident scene on U.S. Route 25 in Greenville County when he was struck by the tractor-trailer. He sustained massive head injuries and never regained consciousness. His family allowed doctors to remove him from life support late Thursday.
The truck driver reportedly stopped after the collision to check for damage to his truck then continued on. Police found the truck at a dealership waiting to be repaired and arrested the driver, Walter L. Sumner. He was initially charged with leaving the scene of an accident and reckless driving. More charges are pending following Anderson's death.
Rawhide, a retired chemical company foreman who recently celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary, was a four-year veteran who missed only six of the department's 78 calls in 1998 and was named the Fireman of the Year. "We all live together, work together, go to church together," Firefighter/Paramedic Robbie Kubler said. "We used to laugh when there was a storm and he would come in and crank the trucks out and get them ready to go on a call." "He just liked helping people in the communuity ... he loved God, his family and the fire department,"
Fire Chief David Embry said. "His co-workers gave him the nickname [Rawhide] ... he was small in stature but very strong and tough." Rawhide leaves behind his wife, Betty, two sons, three daughters and several grandchildren, all of whom live in South Carolina.