USA–– FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Fort Wayne police confirm a firefighter has died after a tanker truck responding to a grass fire rolled over near the scene Sunday night.
It happened at the intersection of Hillegas and Butler Roads. The fire was called out at 8:24 p.m. in the 4300-block of Butler Road, which is west of Hillegas.
About twenty minutes later, police dispatchers said there was a report that a Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department water tanker truck had rolled over as it was arriving.
Firefighter Mark Haudenschild II, 26, was ejected from the tanker and pinned underneath. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:17 p.m.
According to the Allen County Coroner’s Office, Haudenschild was reportedly not restrained and died of blunt force trauma due to motor vehicle crash.
Haudenschild leaves behind a wife, a three-year-old son, and a one-year-old daughter.
Sgt. Mark Brooks with the Fort Wayne Police Department said the truck was going south on Hillegas and was making a right turn onto Butler when the water in the tank shifted. The momentum caused the truck to roll over onto the driver’s side and slide several feet.
Three utility poles were hit after the truck tipped over. That caused live wires to fall down, and the firefighter was trapped inside the truck. AEP quickly responded and shut off power in the area. NewsChannel 15’s crew said the traffic lights at the scene started blinking again around 10:38 p.m.
Haudenschild’s death is the first line of duty death in the history of the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department. Washington Township’s department is currently out of service. Neighboring departments are covering its territory.