Michigan Rescuer Charged In Fatal Response Crash - News - @ JEMS.com


Michigan Rescuer Charged In Fatal Response Crash

Prosecutors say he was driving too fast or in a careless or negligent manner.


 
 

KEN KOLKER, WOOD | | Friday, December 10, 2010


VIDEOS

Multimedia Thumb

Rescuer In Fatal Crash Surrenders

Rushing in an EMS unit to an earlier crash, another happens.
more >





PIERSON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - In Montcalm County, he was Rescue 27. Now, 70-year-old Richard Pierce faces charges for causing a crash that killed two people while he was rushing in an EMS unit to an earlier crash. That first crash also killed two.

"I feel bad about it," Pierce told 24 Hour News 8 at his home in Pierson on Wednesday.

Pierce was racing in a Montcalm County EMS rescue unit to a crash near Howard City on Oct. 4 when he drove into the intersection of South County Line Road and Kendaville, colliding with another vehicle.

The crash killed Max Young, 64, a retired farmer, and his girlfriend, Shirley Narloch.

"I feel horrible," said Wendy Woods, the great-niece of Young, in reference to the charges. "He's saved, I'm sure in his career, he's saved many, many lives -- and to accidentally kill two people, and I know that it was an accident, so for them to charge him ..."

Pierce was in Montcalm County District Court on Tuesday after a visiting prosecutor filed two counts of negligent homicide, a high misdemeanor which carries up to two years in prison. Prosecutors say he was driving too fast or in a careless or negligent manner.

Howard City Assistant Fire Chief Keith Grannis was on the first crash call -- the one Pierce was rushing to -- and spoke to Pierce later that day.

"He said, 'I looked, and I looked, and I looked and there wasn't anything coming. I didn't think there was anything there, and then all of a sudden, they were right in front of me,' and so, he made a tragic error." Grannis not only knows Pierce, but also was long-time friends with the couple whose deaths he's accused of causing. "They were two wonderful people," he said.

The great-niece of Max Young said she doesn't want Pierce to go to jail. "Our family is very forgiving, so if he weren't charged at all, I'm sure that they wouldn't be upset in the least," Woods said. "We've tried to move on."

Pierce not only worked for EMS for 15 years, but also was a volunteer firefighter. He often kept Rescue 27, a Ford Explorer, at his home, and often gave up vacations to help cover the area when other rescuers were not available, Grannis said.

"He's helped literally hundreds and hundreds of people," Grannis said. "He really had a strong belief that rescue was something that was needed for that community, as a first-response unit to try to help as many people as he possibly could and, you know, that's what he was doing and unfortunately, he made a mistake."

Grannis said Montcalm County rescuers recently were trained on driving to emergencies.

He said the deaths and charges should send a message to all rescuers.

"Hopefully, what it does is it says to other first responders that you keep your eyes and your ears alert and watch it when you're coming to intersections," he said.



Related Links:




Rescuer In Fatal Crash Surrenders


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, vehicle operations, legal issues

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Advancement

This is the seventh year of the EMS 10 Innovators in EMS program, jointly sponsored by Physio-Control and JEMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Wesleyan Students Hospitalized for Overdose

11 students transported to local hospitals.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Denver Medic's Family Says Job Stress Contributed to Suicide

Veteran of over 25 years took her own life after a call.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Denver First Responders Join to Remember Paramedic

Veteran medic took her own life after fatal accident.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Rigs Going in Service from EMS Today 2015

Snap shots of some of the vehicles at EMS Today that will be on the streets soon
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Florida Hospital Fire

Fire halts construction project at Tampa cancer center.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >