Firefighter rescued after crash

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Suffolk Fire Department had to rescue a colleague on Friday.

Around 11 a.m., Tollie Gilliam, a Gates County, N.C., volunteer firefighter, was involved in an accident on Carolina Road that left him trapped in his 1999 Ford Ranger for nearly an hour.

Gilliam, 35, was traveling north, toward downtown Suffolk, when he tried to switch from the left to right lane, according to the police report. Gilliam, who was reportedly traveling

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over the speed limit, struck the front end of a Ford 3500 driven by James Durden of Suffolk, police said.

The impact caused Gilliam’s truck to spin out of control, travel across a driveway and into a wooded area.

After firefighters and rescue squad members freed him from the truck, Gilliam was treated and released from Obici Hospital.

&uot;He’s been with us a little over a year,&uot; Gates Fire Chief Fred Collier said of Gilliam. &uot;He absolutely is (a good firefighter). He is very dedicated to what he does.&uot;

Gilliam, who was charged with reckless driving, could not be reached for comment.