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Benefit planned for injured Oconee Co. firefighter

Updated: Jun 18, 2021

Spence Dalton's face bears the scars from being struck by a hit-and-run driver

By Joe Johnson

When powerful storms rolled through the area the night of June 6, Oconee County volunteer firefighter Spence Dalton was among the many emergency responders who braved the elements to help wherever they were needed.

One location that required an emergency response was the entrance ramp from U.S. Highway 78 to Ga. 316 where two young men, Decoda White and Cody Derivan, were trying to remove a downed tree from the roadway.

While Dalton was facing away from traffic, a motorist failed to stop for the flashing emergency vehicle lights, at which time he heard the men yell out “Car!” which made Dalton turn around and get struck by the vehicle on his side. The driver fled the scence but while one of the men stayed to provide aid to Daton, the other gave chase and stayed with the vehicle until the Georgia State Patrol stopped and arrested the driver.

The collision caused serious injuries to the firefighter, but family member Kenneth England said if Dalton had not heard the men warning him about the impending collision “our family would probably have been planning a funeral for him.”

Even so, the 32-year-old volunteer who owns the S&H Outdoor Creations construction company will be out of action for an indefinite amount of time as he recovers from a broken hip and a torn meniscus that will require knee surgery, while doctors are also address lower back and shoulder issues that could involve additional surgeries.

His wife Haley said, “his nose was almost ripped off from bottom up. They were able to stitch it, and the stitching is healing great, but it’s shattered. We see the ENT Monday for our next steps in that area.”

Haley Dalton is also self-employed and will likewise be out of work as she cares for her injured husband and their two children. She owns the Rusted Arrow women's clothing boutique.

Spence and Haley Dalton with their children, Finn and Parker

As a result, friends are planning a Benefit for Spence Dalton event next month at Crowe Farms,1445 Clotfelter Road in Bogart.

Scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 17, the event will include $10 plates of pulled pork with two sides to be provided by Backdraft BBQ.

There will be a charge of $10 per car for those staying for a concert by the Joe Olds Band.

Raffle items and door prizes will be added at a later date.

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