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John Dean Forbush


On Sunday, May 1, 2022, Firefighter John Dean Forbush responded to the scene of a vehicle crash at the Elk River in Braxton County, West Virginia. While attempting to rescue a mother and daughter after their SUV was driven into the water, he was caught in the current and drowned. The vehicle crash is being reported as a murder-suicide. Investigation into the incident continues.

Fatality status is provisional and may change as USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify fatality incident information.

Department information

Gassaway Volunteer Fire Department
105 5TH ST
Gassaway, West Virginia 26624

Chief: Lester Cool

Age: 24
Rank: Firefighter
Classification: Volunteer
Incident date: May 1, 2022 2:30 p.m.
Date of death: May 1, 2022
Cause of fatal injury: Other
Nature of fatal injury: Drowning
Activity type: Search and Rescue
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Non-Fire
Fixed property use: Outdoor Property

Last updated: March 23, 2023