Mike Wilbur

UPDATE: Unbelted Firefighter Paralyzed After Ejection Crash

As an update to yesterdays posting, the 18-year-old North Carolina volunteer Firefighter who was badly injured in a crash on Monday morning while responding to an emergency has a 5% chance of walking again, according to his family. Firefighter Cecil Dale Thornton (a high school senior) was responding to a medical call as a member of the Blackman’s Crossroads FD, when his personal truck ran off the road and overturned.

He was ejected from his truck because he was not wearing his seatbelt according to the NC State Highway Patrol report. He sustained several severe injuries, the worse one was his back being broken and crushing of his spinal cord at the T4 – T11 vertebrae. He was taken to WakeMed and had surgery, and late Tuesday, Thornton’s family reported the surgery went well but the family also report he only has a 5% chance of walking again.

We continue to offer our thoughts and prayers and use this tragic incident to respectfully remind Firefighters & related first responders the critical importance of being belted in. 


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