NC firefighter, 18, paralyzed after crash while responding to call

Firefighter Cecil Dale Thornton, a high school senior who volunteers at Blackman's Crossroads Fire Department, was ejected from his truck during the crash

By Laura French

FOUR OAKS, N.C. — An 18-year-old North Carolina volunteer firefighter was seriously injured in a crash while responding to a medical call on Monday morning. 

Firefighter Cecil Dale Thornton, who volunteers at Blackman's Crossroads Fire Department, was driving in his truck to respond to the call when the vehicle went off the road and overturned, ejecting him, according to The Johnston County Report

"Responding to emergencies in our line of work is never easy, but especially when it involves one of our own," a Facebook post by Blackman's Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department read. "Please be in prayer for one of our firefighters who was involved in a motor vehicle accident this morning." 

North Carolina State Highway Patrol said Thornton, who is a senior in high school, was paralyzed from the waist down due to his injuries.

Thornton's family said he only has a 5% chance of walking again, according to WRAL. He underwent surgery on Tuesday, which his family said went well.

A GoFundMe page set up by Thornton's mother says he suffered a broken back and crushed spinal cord and "has a long road of recovery ahead of him." The fundraiser has raised more than $3,700 as of this writing. 

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