Ohio Firefighter Dies after Fire Engine Crash – 2022 Driving Deaths

By Bill Carey
26 January 2023

MIDDLEPORT, Ohio – An Ohio firefighter has died four months after being injured in a fire engine crash, according to local news sources and a social media post from the firefighter’s department.

Middleport firefighter Kevin Dailey was returning from a call on 18 September 2022 in Cheshire Township when the fire engine he was driving went off the road and overturned.

Firefighter Dailey was reportedly ejected* from the fire engine and pinned underneath. He was the only occupant. Other firefighters arrived on the scene and used airbags to remove Dailey. Dailey was flown to Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus and had surgery for a fractured leg and was expected to recover, according to Middleport Fire Chief Jeff Darst.

On Facebook, in response to comments and questions, the Middleport Fire Department stated that Daily was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash. The crash investigation report from the Ohio Department of Public Safety confirms this.

*The report stated a shoulder and lap belt was worn by the victim and he was not ejected. It also stated the victim was not distracted and that his condition prior was “normal.”

Dailey, 72, had retired as chief of the Richland Township Fire Department and had been involved in the fire service for over 40 years.

Daily’s death will likely be listed by the United States Fire Administration (USFA) as an on-duty death for 2022. His will be the 11th under the activity type Driving/Operating Vehicle/Apparatus.

Driving Apparatus

The number of deaths involving drivers is at its highest in 10 years[1].

2022: 10**

2021: 2

2020: 4

2019: 3

2018: 2

2017: 5

2016: 6

2015: 4

2014: 9

2013: 3

2012: 3

Here is a breakdown of the firefighter fatalities while driving in 2022.


Four firefighters have died while driving to alarms. Two involved a structure fire, one involved an MVA, and one involved a 911/emergency call. 

On Scene

One firefighter died while driving on the scene. The tanker/tender overturned in a ditch during a wildfire and the victim suffered burn injuries. He died from those injuries a month after the incident, after being released from the hospital.


Four firefighters died while driving back to their quarters. Of those, one suffered a medical emergency, and one was struck while returning from mandated training.

**One firefighter’s death is listed under Driving however his death, a heart attack, occurred at home after working a 48-hour shift “doing reconnaissance” during Tropical Storm Alex.

Career: 4 Volunteer: 6

Youngest: 24 Oldest: 59

Personal Vehicles

Firefighter fatalities while driving personal vehicles have dropped significantly over the last 10 years[2].

2022: 2

2021: 3

2020: 1

2019: 1

2018: 4

2017: 3

2016: 4

2015: 1

2014: 1

2013: 7

In 2022 two deaths involved POVs. A 63-year-old volunteer firefighter suffered a heart attack while responding to his firehouse and crashed his vehicle in the firehouse parking lot. A 70-year-old volunteer firefighter suffered a medical emergency while doing fundraising for his fire department and was involved in a motor vehicle accident.


  1. On-Duty Deaths, Driving/Operating Vehicle/Apparatus 2022, https://apps.usfa.fema.gov/firefighter-fatalities/fatalityData/list
  2. On-Duty Deaths, Driving/Riding Personal Vehicle 2022, https://apps.usfa.fema.gov/firefighter-fatalities/fatalityData/list

Photograph courtesy of Middleport Fire Department/Facebook.

Published by Data Not Drama

Data Not Drama is writings that provide a point of critical thought about firefighter fatality data and education, line of duty deaths, and risk. The main focus is to encourage less risk aversion and better knowledge on the subject of firefighter fatalities in firefighters, fire departments, and fire service organizations.

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