Fire Fighter Killed in Mountain Road Accident
One Los Angeles City fireman died and another was injured on January 13, when their patrol truck plunged off a mountain fireroad while responding to a night alarm north of Beverly Hills. Robert L. Gillies, 44, was killed and Reginald D. Duffin, 36, was critically injured in the accident at approximately 11:54 p.m. Both were members of the Mountain Patrol.
The patrol truck was in front with Tank Patrol 2 following on Summit Ridge Road south of Mulholland Drive in the Santa Monica Mountains, responding to a fire in the 1700 block on the San Ysidro Drive. The crew of the tank lost sight of the patrol rig, but thought it merely had pulled out of sight. Arriving at the alarm-a faulty heating unit which filled the house with smoke-the tank crew noted that the patrol was not there.
On return to Mountain Patrol headquarters, a search was instituted. Returning to the last place the patrol had been seen on the winding dirt road, discovery was finally made in the freezing predawn hours. A truck company and other units aided in bringing up Gillies’ body which was 275 feet down the gully. Duffin was discovered about 250 feet down. Because of Duffin’s critical condition, investigators have been unable to determine the cause of the accident.