ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A Summerfield firefighter is dead after a Christmas day vehicle crash, according to North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
At around 9:01 a.m. on Christmas, state troopers responded to a reported crash on Bethany Road near Shepard Road in Rockingham County.
Investigators say that Matthew Scott Hall, 31, of Madison, N.C., was traveling southwest on Bethany Road in a 2007 Chevrolet truck. Hall crossed the centerline, traveled off the roadway to the left down an embankment, and struck a tree.
Hall was pronounced dead at the scene, according to investigators. It is not known what caused him to drive off the road and speed is not considered to be a factor in the crash.
Investigators also say that Hall had been missing since late Friday night. Hall’s Chevrolet truck was found by another driver down a ravine on Bethany at around 8:30 a.m. on Christmas morning.
Hall was a career firefighter in Guilford County with the Summerfield Fire Department and was also the Assistant Chief with Madison Rescue Squad.
His colleagues are reflecting on the man he was and how he should best be remembered.
“After he didn’t report to work…you just know something terrible had happened,” said Rusty Gray, a retired Madison/Rockingham Rescue Squad chief.
Gray knew in his gut that Hall was in trouble. He was part of the team who located Hall.
“He started very young, and it’s been a pleasure to see him grow and mature as a man and become a teacher,” Gray said.
Hall made an impact on everyone he worked with at various fire stations and rescue squads around the Piedmont Triad.
That was evident with the turnout for a Monday afternoon procession as his body arrived at Ray’s Funeral Home.
Summerfield Fire Chief Chris Johnson remembers the day Hall first walked into his station about four years ago to further his career as a firefighter.
“Just an awesome young kid who loved to learn and teach people,” Johnson said.
First responders built a large cross to honor Hall. They plan to make it part of a memorial at the crash site.
They hope to have it up on Thursday. His funeral is scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. at Dalton L. McMichael High School.