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Incident Name:  Returning from the East Fork Fire on Apalachicola National Forest near Tallahhassee, FL
Date: 0001 hours 4/24/04
Personnel: Alan Toepke, stationed in Wilmington, IL, from Winona MN
Age: 30
Agency/Organization: Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie of IL, US Forest Service
Position: Midewin Hotshot

Summary: Firefighter Toepke and the members of his Midewin Hotshot Crew were returning to their home base in Illinois after assisting with fire fighting efforts in the Apalachicola National Forest in Florida. The crew stopped in West Memphis, Arkansas to rest for the evening. Witnesses saw Al Toepke and 2 other firefighters running to cross Interstate 40. As the 2 leading firefighters entered the roadway, they were struck by a passing tractor-trailer truck. Alan Toepke was killed, the second firefighter was seriously injured, and the third firefighter was uninjured. A law enforcement report on the incident indicated that the truck driver did not have time to react or avoid hitting the firefighters.

 

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general area, West Memphis, Arkansas

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  • USDA Memorial Database: Alan David Toepke
  • Funeral services for Al Toepke were held at 1:00 p.m., Friday, April 30, at Peace Church in New Salem, North Dakota. A memorial service was at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, May 8, in Winona, Minnesota.

 

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