Fire Captain John Wiley Cotter, a 33-year member of the Springfield Fire Department died on February 1, 1948 as a result of injuries received during an accident while on the fire truck on November 7, 1947. The fireman were responding to a house fire at the time of the accident.
Captain Cotter was assigned to Station 4. His son, Firefighter Clyde Cotter, assigned to headquarters station, was visiting his father and was riding on the fire truck when the collision occurred. A second fireman on the truck, Douglas M. Choate, received minor injuries. The younger Cotter and the other two firemen on the truck were not injured.