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Funerals set for 2 West Virginia firefighters; 2 others still in the intensive care unit

A fire truck back from a call out for the Crows Nest fire station, Sydney, a banner and flags hang above the entrance of 11 September, 2005.

(Reuters)

Two firefighters killed when responding to a triple-fatality highway crash in West Virginia at the end of last week were honored Tuesday prior to their burials, while two other firefighters remained in the hospital.

Assistant Chief Michael Edwards, 46, and Lt. Thomas Craigo, 40, were honored with more than 50 people from throughout Kanawha County in a wreath laying ceremony outside of the Pratt Volunteer Fire department building, West Virginia MetroNews reported.

“This is a brotherhood,” Pratt, Deputy fire chief Rod Johnson told the newspaper.

The men were honored with a black wreath placed in front of the building and a metal plate in the shape of an American flag that read: “in Honor of Our Fallen Heroes,” according to MetroNews. The families of Edwards and Craigo were each given similar signs, designed by a Pratt resident.

The funeral service for Craigo, a 15-year-old member of the department, will be held at 2 pm, April 3, with visitation held from 6 to 9 pm, April 2, the West Virginia State Fire Marshal said Tuesday. Arrangements for Edwards, who had given 25 years of service, are not yet known.

Johnson said that both men had recently married, including Edwards about a week ago. Edwards and Craigo also have children, the Gazette-Mail reported.

Pratt firefighters remembered as dedicated, well-liked by the community-from @carleelammers https://t.co/hRZ4fRCr6v

— Gazette-Mail (@wvgazettemail) March 26, 2018

Two of the firefighters who suffered injuries in the crash remained in the intensive care unit at Charleston Area Medical Center, Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper told the Charleston Gazette-Mail Tuesday.

Pratt Volunteer Fire department Chief Timmy Walker remained in critical condition, while a fireman Billy Hypes’ condition was stable, Carp said. Firefighter Kyle Jenkins, 17, was treated for a broken arm and released, Fox 11 reported.

Johnson had told the paper Monday that the two firefighters’ families had seen some improvement in their living conditions.

Status of two Pratt volunteer fire department in ICU unchangedhttps://t.co/3cxndXwmGd

— Gazette-Mail (@wvgazettemail) March 27, 2018

The five members of the Pratt Volunteer Fire department were on their way to a wreck on the West Virginia Turnpike that killed three people when their fire truck to the off a road and into a ditch, hitting a rock wall.

The cause of the fire truck crash is still under investigation.

As for the individual crash that killed three people, state police spokesman Capt. Reggie Patterson said in a news release that a car driven by Beatrice Patrick, 77, of Salyersville, Ky., went the wrong way in the southern lanes when it struck another car head-on. The second car and ran off the road and struck a disabled truck. Patrick was killed, WCHS-TV reported.

Patterson said the driver of the second car, James W. Flat, 49, of Westphalia, Mich., and his wife, Tonya Flat, 38, were killed. Truck driver Jordan, Napoleon, 40, of Greer, S. C., was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

The cause of the fire truck crash is still under investigation.

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