COOS COUNTY, Ore. – The Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest announced Saturday that an on-duty firefighter, 21-year-old Benjamin Charles Sapper, was lost in a car accident on Friday.
The U.S. Forest Service said the firefighter was traveling with his work crew north of Powers. When their pickup truck left the roadway, Sapper was critically injured and passed away.
Local fire and law enforcement formed a small procession to escort Sapper to the local funeral home. Local firefighters are standing vigil with their fallen until they can be transported home.
“Our fallen has not been alone and he won’t be alone until he is laid to rest. We have a family liaison that’s in constant contact with the parents and we will carry out what their wishes are as far as honoring the fallen,” said Alex Robertson, Director of Fire and Aviation for the U.S. Forest Service.
Robertson said the job comes with a lot of risks, and he asks people to practice fire safety to keep human-caused fires at a minimum, reducing risks to firefighters.
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