Update on Delaware LODD, Ffr. Michelle Smith

Driver with Revoked License Arrested in Firefighter's Death
Line-Of-Duty Death Update:

NEW CASTLE COUNTY, DE (December 23, 2008) -- Delaware State Police late Monday identified the driver of a BMW which ran down Firefighter Michelle Smith and an injured motorcyclist, as Joseph Taye, 28, of Bear, Delaware. Taye was arrested and taken to Troop 2 in Glasgow, state police spokesman Cpl. Jeff Whitmarsh said.

Taye was expected to be charged with manslaughter, second-degree assault, driving on a revoked license, leaving the scene of a crash and failure to report a crash, Whitmarsh said. He is being held in Young Correctional Institution in lieu of $37,000 cash bail. Sources close to the family say that he expected to make bail sometime today.

In the meantime, firefighters throughout the First State mourn the loss of a brave woman who was a dedicated firefighter and loving mother.

Michelle L. Smith had served the Delaware City Fire Company and the Delaware City Ladies Auxiliary for over five years. She also served as a member of the Volunteer Hose Company of Middletown, DE. A graduate of Middletown High School, Michelle worked for Coventry Healthcare. She leaves behind a 12 year old daughter.

Department spokesperson Dave Carpenter, Jr. characterized Michelle Smith as a truly positive person who specifically became a member to provide assistance to the community, through fire prevention and emergency medical services. Her work in fire prevention earned her the Edward McCormack Award, presented by the Delaware State Fire Prevention Commission.

Funeral arrangements are being made and will be posted on the Department's website at Delaware City Fire Company (Station 15). I am personally asking my fire-rescue-EMS colleagues in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland to consider sending a representative to Firefighter Smith's funeral.


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