A 28-year-old male volunteer fire fighter (the victim) died after the engine he was driving veered off the road, overturned onto the passenger side and struck a tree. The incident occurred while returning to the station. A volunteer fire department was dispatched to a motor-vehicle incident involving injuries. The Assistant Chief, who was first to arrive via his privately owned vehicle, assessed the scene and determined that no one was injured. He canceled Engine 252 and the rescue truck, which were en route to the scene. While driving to the station, the victim apparently steered the Engine toward the shoulder of the road to provide more room for oncoming traffic. As he approached the shoulder, the right rear dual tires went of the road. Due to the Insufficient hard shoulder and the steep incline of the ditch beside the road, the victim was unable to get the Engine back onto the road. Continuing off the road and into the ditch for approximately 280 feet, the Engine overturned onto the passenger side, striking a large tree. The victim was killed instantly. NIOSH investigators conclude that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: Ensure all drivers of large apparatus complete state certified driver/operator classes. Ensure all drivers of fire department vehicles are responsible for the safe and prudent operation of the vehicle under all conditions.