Fire Truck Crash Kills Two Injures Three Lisbon Volunteers; Barn And Contents Destroyed

May 22, 1969

A tragic chain of events, set in motion Sunday, July 20, when lightning struck a barn in the Sykesville area, left two Howard County volunteer firemen dead, three others injured and the barn destroyed, together with a large amount of farm machinery and crops.

Two members of thee Lisbon Volunteer Fire Company were killed and three others were injured shortly after 6 p.m., when their fire truck en route to the barn fire near Sykesville, skidded on a rain and mud slicked road , striking an embankment and tree.

The fatal mishap occurred on the Old Frederick Road, near Forsythe Road, as the Lisbon company was responding to a call to the farm of James H. Welling.

Fired by lightning during a severe storm that lashed the local area, a barn on the Welling place was destroyed, together with it’s contents, at a loss estimated $50000.

Victims Listed

Members of the Lisbon company who suffered fatal injuries in the fire truck accident were;

Raymond M. Mills, 22, Woodbine.

Robert Wade Clary, 23, Lisbon.

Mills was pinned between the rear of the truck and the tree. He was dead on arrival at frederick Memorial Hospital.

One of four men thrown from the back of the truck, Clary struck his head on a rock and was pronounced dead at St. Agnes Hospital.

The injured firemen were:

William Irvin(Buddy) Brightwell, 43, Woodbine, in serious condition with fractures of face and hands and multiple lacerations. Doctors are striving to save an injured eye. First taken to St. Agnes Hospital, he wwas later removed to the Marine Hospital in Baltimore.

John Warner, 38, Lisbon, broken ankle and multiple cuts about the face. He has been transferred from St. Agnes Hospital, Baltimore, to Memorial Hospital,  Frederick.

Mark Fleming, 28, Poplar Springs, fractured ribs and minor cuts, He is recuperating at home.

Leland C. Bowman, 41, Woodbine, driver of the fire truck on the ill fated run, and 2nd Lt. Steven Phebus, 21, officer in charge, escaped injury.

The Lisbon truck was responding to the first alarm to the fire. After the accident, three additional pieces of Lisbon apparatus were dispatched to the fire scene.

The storm, which dumped large amounts of water on this drought-stricken area, caused mud from adjoining fields to wash across low-lying portions of the hard- surfaced road.

Barn Destroyed

The 100×75 foot ole barn on the Welling farm was quickly enveloped by flames after being struck by lightning. An early favorable wind, which later changed, helped firemen prevent thee blaze from spreading to nearby farm buildings. The house was not endangered.

Firemen and apparatus from Sykeville, West Friendship, Lisbon and Clarksville fought the blaze.

Destroyed with the barn, Mr. Welling reported, were 100 tons of alfalfa hay, 40 tons of straw, 200 bushels of barley on a wagon, three tractors, a baler, grain drill, air compressor, truck body, corn planter and 4000 feet of lumber.

Welling said the combined loss, estimated at some $50000, was only partially covered by insurance.

Double Funeral

Double funeral services for the two Lisbon volunteers who died of injuries recieved in the fire truck accident were held Wednesday, at 11 a.m., at the Waltz Funeral Home, Liberty Road, Winfield. The Rev. Richard E. Schwinger and the rev. Orin Dooley officiated. Members of the Lisbon Volunteer Fire Company attended in a body.

On Tuesday evening a memorial service, attended by some 300 persons, was held in the Winfield fire hall.

An accounting clerk for the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, Raymond M. Mills, Woodbine, was born in Frederick, and was a son of Raymond F. and the late Leda Mills. He was a graduate of (Cont.on Page 8)

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