According to a press statement issued by the Fayette County, Ohio Sheriff’s Office (FCSO), on Saturday at 11:05 a.m., their department’s 911 center received a call of an overturned mechanical lift with injuries at the Concord-Green Fire Department along Route 62 and Locust Street in the village of Staunton.
First responders identified the victims in the overturned lift as Concord-Green Fire Chief Ralph Stegbauer and Fire Captain Jeffery Skaggs. Both sustained fatal injuries in the accident and were pronounced dead at the scene by Fayette County Coroner Dr. Lenora Fitton.
According to the FCSO’s initial investigation, Stegbauer and Skaggs were utilizing the lift to make repairs to the radio tower outside the firehouse when the lift tipped over, ejecting both of them from the basket.
The FCSO continues its investigation of the accident with assistance from the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office Crash Reconstruction team.
The initial first responders to the scene were the fellow firefighters of Chief Stegbauer and Captain Skaggs from Concord-Green Fire Department. They were assisted at the scene by members of the Washington Fire Department, Fayette County EMS, and the Fayette County Emergency Management Agency.
Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth provided additional details to ABC6, stating, “The lift was sitting on a trailer. It was motored in on a trailer, and they left it on there for what reason we don’t know. When they were coming down, it shifted, that caused it to fall off the trailer, and unfortunately, both were killed on impact when they hit the ground.”
Stanforth said Stegbauer and Skaggs were the only two at the firehouse when it happened. A passerby found the lift on the ground and called to get it checked out. Responders were not prepared for what they found when they got on the scene.
A community-wide memorial service is being planned for later this week.
An obituary for Stegbauer, 71, is available here.