Frederick County Fire Fighter Dies After Responding To Fatal Crash

He had a medical condition and collapsed at the scene.


Libertytown, Md (KM) The Frederick County fire and rescue community is mourning the death of one of its own. Fire Fighter Mike Powers  a long time member of the Libertytown Volunteer Fire Company, died Tuesday afternoon after answering a call for a  crash at Route 26 west of Unionville Road.

Chief Tom Owens says Fire Fighter Powers, 70, responded to a two-vehicle crash shortly before 1:00 PM, and began clearing debris from the highway to make room for the arriving ambulance. “In doing so, he experienced a serious medical emergency, and collapsed at the scene,” Owens said, speaking to reporters at a news conference at Frederick Memorial Hospital Tuesday afternoon.

Medics rendered immediate medical care, and Powers was rushed to the FMH emergency room by ambulance. “In spite of aggressive medical care by Frederick County paramedics, and the emergency department doctors and staff at Frederick Memorial Hospital, Fire Fighter Powers succumbed to his medical condition and was pronounced deceased,'” Chief Owens said. The time of death was 2:21 PM.

Powers’ body was taken to the State Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy. Funeral plans have not been announced, Owens says.

All this happened while fire fighters responded to a two-vehicle crash which turned out to be fatal.

State Police say troopers responded to Route 26 near Unionville Road east of Libertytown for the crash. Authorities say a passenger car and a tractor trailer collided head -on. Fire and EMS personnel responded and spent time extricating the drivers of both vehicles, according to a State Police news release.

A preliminary investigation reveals that a Volkswagen operated by Kevin Tevelow, 22, of New Windsor, was traveling westbound along Route 26 when he attempted to pass a vehicle heading west in an authorized passing zone. Troopers say Tevelow failed to yield the right of way to the tractor trailer which was hauling water. The operator of the rig, Ricky Hyde, 60, of Manchester, Md., swerved to the eastbound shoulder in order to avoid striking the VW. The two vehicles collided head-on.

Tevelow was pronounced dead at the scene. Hyde, and a passenger in the tanker, George N. Riggle, 58, of Miller, Md., were transported to Carroll Hospital Center for treatment.

Chip Jewel, the President of the Libertytown Volunteer Fire Company, had a lot of praise for Fire Fighter Powers. “Today, the Libertytown Volunteer Fire Department lost a member of our family,” Jewel said during the news conference.e “Mike Powers has been a member for over 40 years, serving as an officer, an administrator, and for a while even as an EMT, but most of all a driver, dedicated to the protection of our community.”

Jewel also said he and Powers spoke to each other that morning, after answering some emergency calls. “Start talking old times. about how things have changed and what we’ve gone through in our last 50 years as friends. Little did I know that the friend would be gone a short time later,” he said.

Powers had been a volunteer fire fighter for more than 50 years, serving previously for  Brunswick and Carroll Manor fire companies.

Jewel says it’s a tough time at the fire hall now that Powers is gone. “A fire fighter line of duty death is a death of your family. Our fire service family is very close whether it’s just be Libertytown. It affects everybody. His own personal family, we’re here to support them. It’s going to be tough time for our entire department for quite a while,” he says

But Jewel says other fire fighters will be answering Libertytown’s calls for a few days while members grieve for the passing of Fire Fighter Powers. “The Division of Fire and Rescue Services has accommodated personnel to make sure that the area will be protected because right now, our members really do have a tough time dealing with it,” he says.

In their new release describing the accident, the State Police also expressed sympathies for the death of Fire Fighter Powers. “The men and women of the Maryland State Police extend their deepest sympathies to the members of the Libertytown Volunteer Fire Company and the Frederick County fire and EMS community and join them in honoring the service and sacrifice of the Fire Fighter Powers,” the news release said.


By Kevin McManus


Fire Fighter Mike Powers