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Acworth firefighter recovering from crash

ACWORTH – A longtime member of the town's fire company who was injured in a crash Tuesday morning is in fair condition, a spokesman for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center said Wednesday afternoon.

Michael Blake, 65, was heading south on Hill Road in his 1986 GMC pickup truck about 8:20 a.m. Tuesday when he lost control, hit a guardrail, went over the guardrail and down an embankment. When the truck hit the guardrail, it split in two, according to authorities. The cab of the truck detached from the frame and rolled farther down the hill where Blake was trapped inside until firefighters freed him.

He was then flown to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon for treatment of serious injuries.

Steven Morris, chief of the Acworth Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, said Wednesday that Blake suffered a broken neck in the crash. He underwent surgery Tuesday to realign the bones. When Morris left the hospital Tuesday night, there was a concern Blake was paralyzed.

However, Tuesday morning Blake was moving his legs and feet, Morris said.

"He's moving his feet, which is really good news," Morris said. "We're all in good hopes right now that he's not going to be paralyzed. … We're in good spirits because that was a bad wreck for Mike."

Morris said it appears the crash was caused by a mechanical failure of the truck.

"He lost his brakes," Morris said. "He's a lucky man."

Blake has been a firefighter with the Acworth Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company for 35 years, Morris said.

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