Tanker Wreck Claims the life of Firefighter John Gupton in Franklin County, NC

John Gupton, 24, died while responding to a fire alarm yesterday (Sept. 16th) in Franklin County, NC. Gupton had been a volunteer since the age of 19 and was a member of the Justice Volunteer Fire Department. Gupton was driving a tanker to an alarm when it rolled over, killing him instantly. One other firefighter was injured in the wreck.


It happened around 5:10 p.m. in the 1300 block of Sykes Road, which is just south of Ruffin Collie Road — northeast of Bunn.

Franklin County Sheriff Jerry Jones told ABC11 that John Derek Gupton, 24, was driving the truck and was killed instantly when it flipped after failing to negotiate a curve in the road. He was a member of the Justice Fire Department.

Another firefighter was injured, but was treated and released from WakeMed.

The tanker truck carrying water was responding to a fire alarm call in Lake Royale, which is about four miles from the scene of the crash.

The firefighting community and the community as a whole are still in shock over what happened.

Gupton was a farmer, landscaper, and volunteer firefighter. His father and grandfather were also firefighters.


The chief said Gupton was responding to a call of a stove on fire on Tuesday, which caused the fire alarm to go off inside a home near Louisburg, when the tanker truck Gupton was in overturned.

“I’m at a loss for words right now. Just pray for us and try to help us get through this,” said Harris.

Gupton began volunteering in 2009 at the age of 19. Fighting fires was in his blood.


 A North Carolina firefighter was killed in a wreck while responding to a call that turned out to be a false alarm.

ABC affiliate WTVD reports the wreck happened at about 5:10 p.m. Tuesday on the 1300 block of Sykes Road, about 13 miles southeast of Louisburg in Franklin County.

John Derek Gupton, 24, of the Justice Volunteer Fire Department, was driving a tanker truck when it overturned on a curve, killing him instantly, Franklin County Sheriff Jerry Jones told WTVD.