A GoFundMe online fundraiser has been set up to benefit the family of a Town & Country firefighter who was killed while he was on the scene of a car crash April 11.
“With the recent line of duty death of Lt Wigal, there has been a calling from the community requesting somewhere to make donations that will be given directly to his wife and daughters,” the GoFundMe page states at https://www.gofundme.com/f/official-tcfd-memorial-fund-for-lt-philip-m-wigal
. “At the family’s behest, we as a district have created this fund for just that purpose. His impact on all he came into contact with has been felt across this community as well as the nation. The support his friends, family, and fellow firefighters have received is difficult to put into words. Thank you to each and every one of you that have reached out in this hour of tragedy.”
As of April 13, more than 200 people donated and the goal of $10,000 had been surpassed with nearly $18,000 raised.
The Town and Country Fire District provides fire and EMS services to West Salem, Congress, and Congress township in Wayne County and Homer township in Medina County.
According to an Ohio Highway Patrol news release, at 3:14 p.m. April 11, troopers were dispatched to the southbound lanes of I-71, south of state Route 301, for a report of a single vehicle minor injury crash. Troopers arrived on scene and began to investigate the crash when units with the Town & Country Fire District arrived on scene to assist. During that time, the investigating trooper was completing documentation near the vehicle prior to it being towed from the scene, while one of the firefighters was completing additional documentation for their report.
At 3:59 p.m. a southbound commercial motor vehicle struck the left rear of the fire engine on scene. The commercial vehicle then struck the Patrol cruiser and the vehicle that was involved in the original crash. The firefighter and trooper, who were still at the original vehicle, were also struck at that time.
Steven B. Hill, 37, from the Patrol’s Ashland Post was transported from the scene with non-life threatening injuries.
Lt. Philip M. Wigal, 35, succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.
According to the Town & Country Fire District Chief Adam Hory, Wigal began his career with the Town & Country Fire District in August of 2006 as a part-time firefighter. In 2011, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and in May of 2014 he was hired full-time.
A 41-year-old Florida driver of the commercial vehicle was transported to an area hospital for minor injuries.