Father of fallen firefighter injured
By Shelley Smith
SALISBURY ó Eddie Monroe and longtime friend Scott Gobble regularly go for motorcycle rides.
The two were headed to a spot Monroe wanted to check out in Montgomery County on Sunday.
ěHe had a particular destination in mind yesterday, just a place out in the middle of nowhere,î Gobble said. ěJust to go look at some junk.î
Monroe and Gobble never arrived at their destination.
Monroe, 65, of Spencer, was injured in a motorcycle accident. He was flown to Wake Forest University Medical Center where he was listed in stable condition in the intensive-care unit.
Monroeís son, Justin, was one of two firefighters killed in the 2008 Salisbury Millwork fire.
Monroe underwent hand surgery Monday and faces another operation today as surgeons try to fuse vertebrae.Gobble said Monroe is a regular rider and he was following Gobble on a ride about 4 p.m. Sunday. As Gobble went through a curve, he looked in a side mirror and saw Monroe. But then as he came to a straightaway, and a truck passed in the other lane, he looked in his mirror and noticed the truck braking.
ěThe truck hit brake lights and then I saw a cloud of dust,î he said.
Gobble said he turned around and found Monroe on the road, unresponsive.
ěI kept talking to him and praying over him, and he finally come to, and he started talking to me,î Gobble said. ěI was asking him what happened and he was asking me what happened. He didnít know, he didnít have a clue.î
Gobble said the couple in the truck called 911, and the three of them prayed over Monroe until emergency workers and firefighters arrived.
Because of bad cell-phone service, Gobble had to break the news to Monroeís wife, Lisa, with a text message.
ěItís not a good thing to do in a situation like that, but I pretty much didnít have a choice,î he said.
Gobble visited Monroe Monday, and though Monroe canít carry on a conversation because of medications he knows people are there. He said Monroeís wife was emotional at times, but she was ěholding up fairly well.î
ěThey need prayer more than anything right now,î Gobble said. ěActually, this riding, that was therapy for both of them.
ěI donít know what happened, I may never know, but itís just something that we enjoyed doing and something went wrong, and only the Lord knows why.î
Another family friend who asked to remain anonymous, became close to the Monroes after the Salisbury Millwork fire.
ěTheyíve been part of my family ever since then,î he said.
He said Monroe received multiple bone fractures and suffered some internal bleeding, but as of Monday was breathing on his own, and the bleeding had stopped.
ěThey think everything is going to be normal,î he said. ěBut I think itís too early to tell what kind of shape heís going to be in. But there hasnít been any negative feedback from doctors or anything.î
And Lisa Monroe, he said, has ěa long road in front of her.î
ěItís tough, itís real tough on her,î he said. ěShe wants everyone to know that if people will pray for her and Eddie, itíll mean more than anything to her.î
N.C. Highway Patrol State Trooper M.W. Holyfield said Monroe lost control of his 1998 Harley-Davidson motorcycle in a curve on Blaine Road.
Holyfield said Monroe hit the brakes in the curve. He wasnít speeding, but Holyfield said Monroe was driving too fast for the conditions of the curve. The back tire locked and went into a skid. The motorcycle flipped and Monroe was thrown 10 to 15 feet onto the road.
A landing zone was set up and Monroe was flown to Baptist by air ambulance.
Holyfield said the stretch of road where the accident happened is popular with motorcycle enthusiasts, and is near the Uwharrie National Forest.
ěItís just country, curvy roads,î Holyfield said, noting there were many riders out Sunday afternoon.
Reporter Emily Ford contributed to the article.
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