Update: East Texas volunteer firefighter dies from injuries

Update: Jackson Heights volunteer firefighter Jalen Smith passed away Monday evening at East Texas Medical Center.

The 20-year-old was on life support, in a coma, after suffering a major head injury and a broken back.

Jalen was in the car with two other firefighters when the wreck happened.

Jalen's mother, Charlean Mosley, spoke exclusively to CBS 19 about her son, who she said, wanted to be a firefighter since he was 3-years-old.

"He said Momma, my job is to save everybody and that's what I want to do," said Charlean Mosley, Jalen's mother.

Jalen's mother said she doesn't hold any one person responsible and she holds no anger toward anyone.

"I'm not mad at anybody, I don't hold anybody responsible, cause he was doing what he loved to do," said Mosley. 






SMITH COUNTY (KYTX) - A Jackson Heights fireman is in a coma after a rollover accident Friday.

20-year-old Jalen Smith from Tyler was in the car with two other firefighters when the wreck happened. In the accident, smith suffered a major head injury, and a broken back.

Close family friends tell CBS 19 he is still in the ICU on life support. Family members say he's stopped having seizures, and but doctors can't operate because his brain is so swollen.

As Smith fights for life at the hospital, fellow firefighters are banding together.

"Sometimes what we do is dangerous," says President of the Smith County Volunteer Fireman's Association, Johnny Brown.

He tries to hold it together as he talks about the wreck that injured Jalen Smith.

"We are kind of a big brotherhood because we do work so closely together, we back each other up," Brown said.

DPS troopers say Smith and two other Jackson Heights volunteer firefighters, Cornelius Redwine from Tyler, and Gary Robinson from Tyler, were driving on County Road 2767, responding to a car accident on that road.

Trooper Jeanne Dark says, "The people in the vehicle advised that another vehicle had pulled out causing them to take evasive action and thus rolling their vehicle several times."

When the other Smith County volunteer fire departments heard about the wreck, they immediately put their contingency plan into action.

Brown said, "We took Jackson Heights completely out of rotation for any kind of call. The three neighboring departments, which are Winona, Chapel Hill and Arp stepped up and they are covering Jackson Heights plus their departments."

The rest of the Smith County volunteer fire departments are ready to step up and help too, if the others need it.

"When it comes down to it, we all pull together and that's what we're doing now. We're pulling together for our brothers at Jackson," Brown says.

People across Smith County are keeping Smith on their minds.

"We're all praying for his quick and speedy recovery and praying for the family," Brown said.

The Jackson Heights firefighters will have a stress debriefing Monday. Brown says the other fire departments will cover for Jackson Heights until the firefighters are ready to get back out there.

Smith has been a volunteer firefighter for about a year. He was supposed to be receiving the Fireman of the Year award on December 16 for his outstanding work in the community.


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