A friend of the firefighter whose leg had to be removed after he was hit by a car said he’s in good spirits as he gets treated in the hospital.
David Noble, 72, was responding to a crash at the intersection of U.S. 68 and Fairfield Pike when he was struck and pinned against a car. He was taken to Miami Valley Hospital and his leg had to be amputated. He remained in critical condition as of Friday afternoon.
“It affects everybody. It affects all the members,” former Springfield Twp. Fire Chief John Roeder said.
Roeder still volunteers as a firefighter and was chief when Noble was sworn in as a firefighter about two years ago. The crash has been hard on all the firefighters, Roeder said, but he’s confident Noble will recover quickly.
“It’s life altering. No one’s going to say it’s not,” Roeder said. “But I think with his attitude, his mentality, that he’ll probably come back stronger.”
Troopers said Noble responded to the crash in his personal vehicle and was the first on scene. It’s no surprise to Roeder that Noble stopped to help. Noble is also retired from the Air Force and an experienced rescue diver.
“If there was an accident and no one was there yet, he would stop and offer assistance,” he said. “Just like any of us would. That’s what we’re trained to do.”
The fire department and township communities have come together to support Noble, Roeder said. People have dropped off cards and flowers to the hospital.
“The support will be there because that’s just what we do,” he said.
A spot for Noble will be open in the fire department when he’s ready to return, Roeder said.
A neighbor near the intersection of U.S. 68 and Fairfield Pike who didn’t want to give her name said the high speed on U.S. 68 has caused many crashes. She has seen many speeders in the area and said she would like to see the intersection redone.
Data from the Clark County-Springfield Transportation Coordinating Committee shows that since 2007, there have been 29 crashes near that intersection.
Of those crashes, 14 involved injuries. That’s a high number of injury crashes, according to TCC Transportation Director Scott Schmid, but it’s probably because of the high speeds on U.S. 68.
Fatal accidents have happened in the area in the past, Schmid said, but not close enough to the intersection to be counted in the crash data.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash to determine if the driver who hit Noble was distracted and if the weather contributed to the accident. Investigators don’t suspect drugs or alcohol contributed to the crash, according to Lt. Brian Aller, Springfield Post Commander.
The driver may face charges, Aller said.
The Springfield News-Sun digs into important public safety stories, including recent coverage of the toll of the drug crisis on police and firefighters and staffing levels at Springfield safety forces.