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Memorial Held for FF's Killed in Van accident

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  • Memorial Held for FF's Killed in Van accident

    LA GRANDE, Ore. (AP) - A year after their deaths, contract
    firefighters including two from Idaho are being remembered by
    family and friends for the contributions they made to their
    communities.
    "Their lives were short, but those lives were very important to
    us," said Mark Schlessman, minister at La Grande's First Christian
    Church.
    Jacob Martindale, 20, of Boise and Zachary Zigich, 18, of Twin
    Falls were on their way to a major wildfire in Colorado last June
    21 when the van they were in overturned. They were killed along
    with Retha Shirley, 19, of La Grande, Ore., and Daniel Rama, 28,
    Bartholomew Bailey, 20, both of Baker City.
    During a weekend memorial service, all five were remembered in
    song, prayers and stories after members of the Oregon National
    Guard raised the flag to open the gathering.
    Taylin Rama, younger sister to Daniel Rama, sang a song for her
    brother, and Jacob Martindale's father remembered that his son's
    smile had brought life to a room.
    A memorial park in honor of the five firefighters is planned
    near the La Grande Fire Station, said John Schuyler, deputy forest
    supervisor of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.
    The five were working for private contractor Grayback Forestry
    and were headed to the Hayman fire near Denver when the accident
    occurred.
    The firefighters' 15-passenger van veered off the road near
    Parachute, Colo., and rolled several times. The driver, Megan Helm
    of La Grande, pleaded guilty in February in a Colorado court to
    careless driving. She was fined $200 and sentenced to 50 hours of
    community service.
    Some of the families have sued Ford Motor Co., alleging the van
    involved was defectively dangerous and the company failed to warn
    consumers about known problems.
    Each of the lawsuits filed in Multnomah County seeks between
    $1.8 million and $9.8 million in damages.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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