Volunteer firefighter killed at crash scene

Daviess County—A volunteer firefighter was killed at the scene of a crash Friday night after being run over by another responding firefighter.

At 9:55 p.m., three volunteer firefighters from Montgomery and Cannelburg fire departments responded to a crash with injury reported along Old Highway 50 (County Road 100 South), just west of County Road 800 East with Daviess County Deputies.

The three firefighters had arrived in their personal vehicles. A fourth responding firefighter, 26-year-old Colby Blake of Cannelburg, was traveling east in his 2006 Dodge Ram truck. While approaching the scene, Blake struck the rear of another Dodge Ram truck parked by a firefighter along the south side of the road. Blake’s Dodge continued east, striking a 2013 Ford Fusion parked by 27-year-old Kendall Murphy of Montgomery. Murphy, a firefighter who had responded to the scene, was standing outside of his Ford and was struck by Blake’s Dodge as it continued east.

Blake crashed into a third firefighter’s vehicle after striking Murphy, a 2007 Ford F350 truck, before coming to a stop.

Murphy suffered numerous injuries after being struck. He was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Daviess County Coroner.

Blake was uninjured in the crash; however, after further investigation was found to be operating while intoxicated with a blood alcohol level of 0.21 percent.

Blake has been preliminarily charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death and reckless driving. He is being held in the Daviess County Security Center with formal charges to be filed by the Daviess County Prosecutor’s Office.

This crash remains under investigation by Indiana State Police crash reconstructionists.

22 Responses to Volunteer firefighter killed at crash scene

  1. Jack McDaniel November 11, 2017 at 12:01 pm #

    Tragic accident!Alcohol involved or not,prayers for all!

  2. Carol Erwin November 11, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

    WTF, so very sorry for your loss,???????

  3. Karen November 11, 2017 at 1:28 pm #

    When will drivers learn: DO NOT DRINK & DRIVE!

    • Jessie jeff November 11, 2017 at 11:00 pm #

      They’ll never learn. They’re impaired, their decision making abilities are negatively affected. As long as we have alcohol we’ll have alcohol related tragic accidents. This will continue to occur for the duration. There is no stopping this. Our culture accepts this and it’s sad.

      • Sheila November 12, 2017 at 8:37 pm #

        I agree Jessie. The laws we have seem to be more reactive than proactive about allowing people behind the wheel after drinking. We really need to try and find ways to prevent people from getting behind the wheel in the first place. Telling someone not to drink and drive isn’t enough in too many cases.

  4. tracy eveland November 11, 2017 at 1:59 pm #

    my heart goes out to the family, my prayers are with them all

  5. MikeR November 11, 2017 at 3:08 pm #

    If this person is found guilty he should have his certification pulled for life.

    • Sheila November 12, 2017 at 8:15 pm #

      MikeR, he will lose far more than certification. No question about it. As well as try to live with the guilt that he took another’s life, probably a friend.

  6. justin November 12, 2017 at 12:41 am #

    when you’ve been drinking you need to just stay home your hurting more people than saving. it’s dangerous as it is working a scene in the dark with flashing lights all over.

  7. Jeri Whitfield-hobson November 12, 2017 at 4:11 am #

    Nobody should drink and drive but of all people! My Lord!

    • Mrs. Ima Ruth Green November 12, 2017 at 5:50 pm #

      Not sure you understand. These are volunteers and they have no idea when a call will come. Should they never ever drink for fear they might get a call and therefore can’t drive to respond? Preposterous. Since you don’t think you’re drunk or want to admit it when in fact you are indeed drunk – reason for drunk drivers and related crashes in general – the key would be to have designated first responders, not unlike designated drivers who don’t drink. Designate on a rotating weekly basis a certain number of VFFs who in fact abstain from drinking during their week – enough to cover most emergencies save for 10-alarm fires or planes-into-building accidents, etc. As a side benefit, this may also help reduce so (too) many responding vehicles to scenes, which may have helped in this situation. Everyone takes their turn every other week or so (two, three, four, etc as manpower allows) as part of the requirements for being a VFF. Violate it and you’re no longer a VFF – don’t like it then don’t be a VFF or learn better self-control and work with it.

      • Sheila November 12, 2017 at 8:24 pm #

        Mrs. Green, that is an exactly idea going forward, but it doesn’t excuse someone for driving after drinking no matter what. Knowing he could possibly be called out, as Justin commented above, he should have stayed home. There again, once under the influence, rational thinking is gone.

      • Ryan November 14, 2017 at 12:09 am #

        I’m a volunteer emt in my fire department and I don’t care if 3 calls go out, if I’m drinking or drunk, I am not going anywhere (I rarely drink tho so was never a problem for me).
        We have set EMS crews on overnights and weekends for calls. 11pm-5am. So we always have a full als or bls truck for the first alarm (we do not often have multiple calls simultaneously overnight, if so it tones out to everyone…)

        Terrible for all involved, I’m sure they all knew each other. It’s horrible to kill someone but it’s really gotta hurt when you know them. :'(

  8. Ruben moya November 12, 2017 at 7:45 am #

    I think a A volunteer Fire fighter that is on duty or on call should not be drinking anyway Deeply sorry for your loss

  9. Marvelda Schnell November 12, 2017 at 10:26 am #

    VERY..SAD!!..-PRAY..

  10. Sally November 12, 2017 at 1:40 pm #

    I can’t believe someone who had been drinking would even show up to an accident, of course he was impaired, that’s no excuse he knew before he took a drink he could end up impaired yet he still continued to do so therefore he should lose his driving privileges and be put in prison for involuntary vehicular homicide. He should never be able to volunteer for any agency again he is irresponsible.

  11. Joyce Roling November 12, 2017 at 8:07 pm #

    Tragically one of the first effects of alcohol is loss of judgement. This will scar this young man for the rest of his life. God bless and comfort him and the family and loved ones of Firefighter Murphy.

    • Sheila November 12, 2017 at 8:41 pm #

      Amen Joyce

  12. Teresa November 12, 2017 at 9:03 pm #

    Rest in peace . May the good lord watch over you .

  13. Diane K November 13, 2017 at 7:29 pm #

    Simple rule. If you are going to have a drink or on pain medication, shut the pager off. Leave it at home. You don’t belong on the road, jeopardizing the lives of others. Its bad enough going on a call where someone had been injured or killed by a drunk driver. But to have it be, in both the driver and the victim, one of your own, that special bond, is a tragisty that is beyond words. Prayers to each of the families, the community, law enforcement, dispatcher and fellow brothers and sister firefighters. You can’t turn the clock back, but you can learn and review policies, that would help prevent this from happening again.

    Prayers to the victims in the MVA that they were responding too. No one should ever have to witness such a horrific accident.

    I hope that a Critical Stress Debriefing, is offered and attended to all involved .

    Be Safe.
    Diane
    Retired EMT,

    Town of Salem Fire Rescue
    Past Volunteer for:
    Salem Rescue, Silver Lake Rescue

  14. Mrs. Ima Ruth Green November 14, 2017 at 7:10 pm #

    Well, the problem with alcohol is that it’s too late for many once they’re drinking – indeed judgment is impaired to include self-assessment, denial, a false sense of emboldened pride, etc – not to mention the driving and operational issues affected. And if everyone who is drinking at any given time has turned off their pager or somehow doesn’t respond, who will show up for the emergency besides no one and not enough? I like Diane’s matter-of-fact, common-sense thinking of learn and review (if not revise or re-organize and develop new) policies. But Ruben nailed the point that should result: no VFF, EMT or any first responder on call should be drinking or otherwise impaired, and the best if not only way to best insure that is with designated responders (similar to) as suggested.

  15. T/R November 15, 2017 at 2:01 am #

    Horrible loss, our prayers to all involved.

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