Off-duty Md. firefighter killed in apparent tractor accident

An off-duty Frederick County, Maryland, firefighter died after being pinned beneath a tractor in Montgomery County.

The death of 60-year-old Drue Jones was confirmed in a tweet Tuesday from Frederick County Fire and Rescue Services. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue said earlier that they were responding to a remote area of farmland in Dickerson.

Frederick County firefighters had called Montgomery County’s department after Jones didn’t show up for his 6 a.m. shift, said Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer.

They responded to his home in the 23600 block of Harris Road, in Dickerson, Piringer said, which was Jones’ last known whereabouts. Montgomery County police and Frederick County Fire and Rescue units assisted in searching the property.

“We noticed that the vehicle was still present and the tractor was missing,” he said.

Within 20 minutes of searching the property, they found the tractor at the bottom of a steep ravine, which apparently was used to dump trees and brush. It required the department’s technical rescue team. A Maryland State Police aviation unit and a medical “Go Team” were also requested.

“It was a very difficult and remote area,” Piringer said. “In fact, we could not make direct contact until we got some equipment.”

At 9:14 a.m., they were able to get to Jones, and determined that the 14-year veteran — who had been assigned to Emmitsburg — had sustained a traumatic injury and died.

Fire and police crews from both jurisdictions have remained on the scene as part of the death investigation.

Jones worked as a career firefighter assigned to the Vigilant House Company. He had been with the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue for 14 years, and has a son, Stephen, who also is a career Frederick County firefighter and president of Local 3666.

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