East Side volunteer firefighter killed en route to water rescue

By Ritchie Starnes
News Editor

A volunteer at East Side Volunteer Fire Department was killed Sunday night while responding to a water rescue call.
Dakota Ross Snavely, 17, was pronounced dead at the scene of a 7:24 p.m. crash on N.C. Highway 205 near Mineral Springs Road, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol.
Snavely was traveling northbound on N.C. Highway 205 when he met a southbound tractor trailer hauling chickens. As the vehicles were entering a curve a crate became loose from the 18-wheeler’s load before going airborne. The crate struck the driver’s side of Snavely’s 2003 Ford sport utility vehicle, 1st Sgt. B.G. Jones said.
Snavely’s Ford spun off the right side of the road after impact while the tractor trailer came to a rest blocking the highway. The crash prompted the closure of the road for a few hours, Jones said.
East Side firefighters are grieving the loss of Snavely, which they hope will be declared as in the line of duty.
“With a sad and heavy heart East Side ask for prayers for the family of member Dakota Snavely. We also ask for prayers for his fire family,” East Side VFD Chief William A. Efird said on a Facebook post early Monday morning. “He had left a friend’s house near Oakboro and was headed to Morrow Mountain State Park for a dispatched water rescue. We are working with state officials, and treating this tragedy as a LODD (line of duty death).”
Snavely was a firefighter for East Side where his father, Jimmy Ross Snavely, also served as a captain.
Dakota Snavely died one week shy of his 18th birthday, which falls on Father’s Day

Contact Ritchie Starnes at 704-754-5076 or ritchie.starnes@stanlynewspress.com.