Father of fallen firefighter dies in truck accident

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 27, 2012

By Karissa Minn
SPENCER — The father of a fallen firefighter was killed in an accident involving a pickup Monday afternoon off U.S. 29 North, authorities say.
Eddie Monroe, 67, of Spencer, was found trapped under his red pickup truck in a ditch alongside Fieldcrest Cannon Lane, near the former Color-Tex (N.C. Finishing Co.) plant.
Monroe’s son, Justin, was one of two firefighters killed in a 2008 fire at the Salisbury Millwork Co.
Trooper A.J. Carpenter with the N.C. State Highway Patrol said investigators don’t know why Monroe stopped his pickup and got out onto the roadway.
The vehicle was still running and in gear, he said. It ran over Monroe and off the road before coming to rest against a fence. Carpenter said investigators believe this was an accident, and no one else was involved.
Monroe died before emergency responders got to the scene shortly after 3 p.m. Bobby Fox, chief of the Miller Ferry Fire Department, said they didn’t know someone was injured because the original caller saw only the vehicle.
Fox said firefighters knew Monroe well because Justin had volunteered alongside them at Miller Ferry. Monroe’s wife, Lisa, became involved in fundraisers and other department activities when their son joined as a junior firefighter.
“They were part of our department, so that’s family,” Fox said.
“We’ve got a lot of members at our department that have been truly by the Monroes’ side ever since they lost Justin, almost daily.”
Counseling services were called in Monday night for the firefighters, but Fox said they’re more concerned about Monroe’s family.
“It’s just a tremendous amount of loss for his wife, Lisa,” he said. “She’s suffered so much loss in the last couple of years. Our hearts are going out to them, more than anything.”
In May 2011, Monroe was injured when he lost control of his motorcycle in a curve on a Montgomery County road.
He recovered from multiple bone fractures and internal bleeding after undergoing surgery on his hand and spine.
Monroe was self-employed and ran a lawn care business, Fox said.
Responding to Monday’s accident were Miller Ferry Fire Department, Rowan County EMS, the Rowan County Rescue Squad, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department, the Spencer Police Department and the N.C. State Highway Patrol.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
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