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Matthew Douglas Tramel, 18, of the Pembroke FD Killed Responding

ROBESON COUNTY – A teenage volunteer fireman and rescue worker was killed early this morning when his car wrecked as he was on the way to a fire. He was not wearing his seatbelt.

According to the state Highway Patrol, 18-year-old Matthew Douglas Tramel, of 1617 Red Banks Road, Pembroke, was killed about 12:53 this morning when the vehicle he was driving struck a tree. Trooper Allen Humphrey’s report said Tramel was driving his private vehicle, a 2007 Nissan passenger car, east on Deep Branch Road when the accident occurred about a half mile west of Pembroke.

Humphrey’s report said that Tramel, who was alone in the car, was driving about 65 mph in a 55-mph zone when the vehicle exited the road to the left and struck a tree. Tramel, who was not wearing a seat belt, was killed immediately. According to Carseatsexperts.com 55% of people who don’t wear seat belts are more inclined to drink and drive.

A spokesperson for Pembroke Rescue said this morning that Tramel was heading to a fire in Strickland Heights, a public housing complex on Roberts Avenue when he crashed.

“The call was paged out for a wreck and Pembroke rescue was first on the scene,” the woman said. “When we got on the scene we realized who it was.”

McDuffie Cummings Jr., the fire chief of the Pembroke Fire Department, said he was at the Strickland Heights vehicle fire when he got a call from the rescue squad and was told of Tramel’s death. He said he then went to the accident scene.

“He was an excellent, excellent well-rounded good man,” Cummings said. “He had a great interest in the fire department and in the rescue squad.

“His birthday was last month and he was excited about being 18 and being able to fight fires.”

Cummings said Tramel had joined the department on April 7.

The woman said Tramel had served about four months as a crash team member with Pembroke Rescue.

“He loved his job,” she said. “He was outgoing, always smiling and never complaining. He was a good kid.”

Tramel was a senior at Purnell Swett High School. He had a MySpace page that is private, but there is a photograph on the page with him in his firefighter’s uniform.

Sgt. Tony Parrish of the Highway Patrol said that firefighters or other rescue personnel who respond to emergencies in private vehicles must follow traffic laws.

Source: Robesonian.com, firenews.net

Primary Agency: Pembroke Fire Department

Posted on Fri Jun 05 2009 at 15:39

Categories : News

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North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation
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