AVONDALE -- UPDATE 8:24 p.m.
James Bailey was driving an ambulance like any other day early Wednesday morning, but this day wouldn’t end like any other. Instead, Bailey hit the guardrail on Route 83 near Avondale. Around 3 a.m. Bailey, and his ambulance, rolled more than 20 feet down an embankment and stopped in front of a home with Bailey pinned beneath it.
Witnesses to the accident say Bailey was still alive, but died later on scene. Co-workers from the Bradshaw Volunteer Fire Department were among the first one scene. They say it was a gruesome scene, but that Bailey died doing what he loved to do.
“It’s a shock, it’s hard to believe he’s gone,” said Kimberly Proffitt.
Proffitt knows how important helping others was to Bailey. She was his cousin, his friend, and his co-worker. The two were supposed to work together this evening, a shift that never came to fruition.
“I lost what feels like my brother, my co-worker, and my friend all at once.”
Al Carrolla, the President of Bradshaw Volunteer Fire Department (where Bailey volunteered), says men like Bailey are one in a million.
“He just like what he was doing, he was a really good person, a real loss,” said Carrolla.
Those closest to him say he lived his life for those around him, most importantly his son and daughter.
“It’s all he talked about, he was going to see them this weekend,” said Proffitt.
Family members are shocked by the sudden news, and co-workers are exhausted. On there way to a de-briefing meeting to cope with their loss another fatal accident occurred just a few miles up the road from where Bailey died.
“It’s harder when it’s family. You deal with it everyday but it’s 10 times harder when it’s family.”