|Agency||Kewanee Fire Department|
|Type of Firefighter||[Unknown]|
|Date of Birth||0/0/0|
|Date of Death||10/13/1931|
|Cause of Death||Thrown from vehicle|
|Nature of Death||Trauma|
|Attribute of Death||[not applicable]|
|Type of Duty||Emergency vehicle operations , Responding to/returning from incident|
On the afternoon of October 7, 1931 the Kewanee Fire Department lost two firemen in the line of duty. A call came in for a tree fire at the Tom Thumb golf course in Wethersfield. John (Jack) Smith was driving the fire engine and Wesley Crandall was standing toward the rear. They went south on Tremont Street and as they approached Central Blvd. a young man named Perry Meikle pulled out in front of them. Meikle stepped on the gas to try to avoid the accident but the fire truck clipped his back bumper.
The collision sent the fire truck over the curb which caught the wheel and caused the truck to roll several times. The truck, with the motor still running, was laying directly across the chest of Jack Smith. Wes Crandall had one leg pinned by the tire. Several men were able to get Crandall loose from the truck. He was sent to St. Francis Hospital where he struggled six days before losing his life.
Both Smith and Crandall had been on the department for over eight years and Fire Chief Frank Williams told the newspaper that “Smith was the most careful driver on the force.” The Kewanee Fire Department salutes these two men for their valiant service.
Summary provided by the Kewanee Fire Department