Ralpho firefighters mourn loss of 'dedicated' colleague in accident
OVERLOOK - Firefighters from Ralpho Fire Company continued to mourn and reflect Monday following a fatal accident Sunday that took the life of one of their own.
The head-on crash on Route 54 just north of Elysburg claimed the life of Brian Stanley, 27, of 210 Quarry Road, Elysburg, a father of two who has been described as "dedicated" and "well liked" by fellow firefighters. He had been a member of the company since 2007.
Injured in the accident was Christopher Long, 49, of Shamokin, and a 13-year-old passenger. Long remained in critical condition Monday evening, according to a GMC nursing supervisor, while the teen passenger was still listed in fair condition.
Flag at half-staff
Several firefighters who praised Stanley's life Monday were dispatched to the scene of the crash as first responders.
"We are doing the best we can in this type of situation," company chief Clint Herr said Monday. "It's a big loss for us."
Herr said Stanley, employed as a machine operator in Frackville, loved being a firefighter and was very active in the company. He attended work sessions and training and also volunteered at the Elysburg Haunted House, according to the chief.
The last call Stanley responded to was an oven fire on Hillside Avenue in Elysburg - less than 24 hours before the accident.
"He was there for us all the time and made a majority of the calls," Herr added. "He was a dedicated guy."
The American flag has been lowered to half-staff at the station in Stanley's honor.
Capt. D.J. Spotts remembered Stanley as a great guy who was very friendly and willing to work any assignment at a fire scene.
"It didn't matter if it was a four-alarm fire in Shamokin or a tree down in Elysburg," Spotts said. "He was always working and did what needed to be done."
Herr expected to speak with Stanley's father, Jim, who serves as president of the company, about the possibility of the organization honoring Stanley. Herr said he will leave that decision to the family.
Trooper Daniel Wilk, of state police at Stonington, said Stanley lost his life when the 1990 Toyota he was driving was struck head on by a 1994 Dodge Dakota being driven by Long at 11:20 a.m. Sunday, just northwest of High Road.
Police said Long was driving west, left his lane of travel and drifted into the path of Stanley's pickup. Stanley was traveling east.
The passenger was not identified by police.