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Last updateTue, 25 Nov 2014 9pm

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High Springs firefighter dies in crash

AlachuaMotorcycleHigh Springs firefighter Chad Hood was killed in an early morning crash when his motorcycle collided with a minivan.

A High Springs firefighter was killed in a Tuesday morning motorcycle crash, the Alachua Police Department (APD) reports.

According to preliminary police reports, 35-year-old firefighter Chad Hood was driving a Suzuki motorcycle northbound on U.S. Highway 441 in Alachua when he collided with a Volkswagen minivan.  The accident happened around 6:37 a.m. near a Sunoco gas station in the area of the Turkey Creek neighborhood.

The minivan pulled out of the Sunoco gas station and crossed in front of Hood’s line of travel, presumably to turn southbound on U.S. 441, APD Spokesman Jessie Sandusky said.

Hood reportedly struck the side of the van.  He was transported to Shands Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Sandusky said a helmet was found at the scene, but police are not yet certain if Hood was wearing it.  The driver of the minivan, Jason Davis, is being cited for the accident.  Additional charges could follow, but Sandusky said toxicology reports on Davis would take several months.

Friends of Hood say the firefighter was on his way to the High Springs fire station when the accident occurred.  He was a Gainesville resident and graduate of Buchholz High School.  He had been with the High Springs Fire Department since 2007.

Hood’s death leaves a void in the High Springs Fire Department.  “Chad was a full member of the family here and he is already greatly missed,” Fire Chief Verne Riggall said Wednesday.

“He was someone who was quiet and reserved but always did his part and always put his family first,” he said.

Hood leaves behind a wife, Susan, and a young son, Wyatt.  High Springs residents Linda Gestrin and Robyn Rush have established a memorial fund to benefit Hood’s wife and son.  Contributions may be made to the “Chad Hood Memorial Fund” at Capital City Bank.