An off-duty firefighter was hit and killed by a passing car while trying to help someone on the side of the road in Clinton County, Michigan on Tuesday morning.
The firefighter was identified as Zach Miller of the Elsie Area Fire Department. Miller was responding to crash victims in a passenger vehicle he struck east of St. Johns, on M-21, between 127 and Scott Rd.
“A passenger vehicle driven by Beronica Duttenhaver age 20 of Maple Rapids was exiting the MDOT parking lot to pull out onto M-21 and stopped in the roadway due to traffic, she was then struck by westbound pickup truck driven by Zachary Miller age 20 of Elsie,” the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
“After the initial crash all occupants were sharing information checking for injuries. A westbound vehicle driven by 17 yr old from Ovid struck two of the individuals in the roadway, one was a bystander with minor injuries and the second was Miller,” the statement added. “Miller was unresponsive at the scene and transported to Sparrow Clinton where he passed away from his injuries.”
The Elsie Area Fire Department released a statement confirming Miller’s death and mourning one of their own.
“It’s a very hard day here at the Elsie Area Fire Department,” the fire department said in a Facebook post on Tuesday afternoon. “We lost one of our own, in an accident this morning outside of our area trying to help others involved in a car accident. He was hit by another passing motorist.”
“Rest in Peace, Zach. You will be missed,” the department added. “We have the watch from here. Funeral Info will be posted as we know more.”
The nearby Bath Township Fire Department also paid tribute to Miller in a Facebook post.
“BTFD is saddened by the tragic loss of Firefighter Zach Miller from the Elsie Area Fire Department,” the neighboring fire department wrote. “Zach graduated the Clinton County Fire Academy last year. He was a student that could work well within in a team and motivate others. He had a long career ahead of him and he no doubt was going to have a positive impact on the fire service. Zach was killed this morning doing what was in his blood which was helping others. He was hit by a passing motorist while providing aid to others involved in a car accident.”