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Car Hits Firefighters Parked in Emergency Lane

JEMS.com Editor s Note: Read about the “Slow Down, Move Over” campaign headed up by the American Auto Association that aims to reducing deaths and injuries among roadside workers.

MEMPHIS– An off-duty Memphis firefighter was killed and another injured in a traffic accident late Sunday night.

Pvt. Janeal Williams, 35, was killed and Lt. Eddie Rone, also 35, was injured when a car collided with their parked motorcycles just before 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

Williams and Rone were parked in the emergency lane at the Millbranch exit ramp on Interstate 240 when a 2002 Ford Mustang ran off the road and struck them, police said.

They said one of the motorcycles was having mechanical problems.

I think they were on the phone with a fellow co-worker, making arrangements to have the bike picked up when the accident occurred, Memphis Fire Department Battalion Chief Don Atkins said.

Rone was hospitalized in critical condition at the Regional Medical Center at Memphis. He was later upgraded to noncritical.

The driver of the Mustang was also at The Med in noncritical condition.

Investigators were still trying to determine what caused the car to veer off the road. No charges had been filed, police spokesman Monique Martin said.

Atkins called Williams, in his 10th year with the department, an excellent person, full of life, always went the extra mile to do anything you asked him. Never mumbled, never complained about any task in front of him. He wanted to be a hands-on guy.

Williams was a firefighter and emergency medical technician at Station 58, 8395 Dexter Road.

Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Saturday at Antioch Baptist Church in Whiteville, Tenn.