Firefighters Remember Crash Victim

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RALPHO TOWNSHIP -- The man who was killed in a head-on crash Sunday near Elysburg was a volunteer firefighter.

His fellow firefighters in Northumberland County say it was their own company that first responded to the crash.

The American flag outside the Ralpho Fire Company near Elysburg is being flown at half-staff.  The close-knit group of firefighters is dealing with the loss of one of their own.

"He was always here, always joking with us.  He called me the old man and said 'c'mon, old man' all the time," said Assistant Chief Al Knerr.brian stanley mug

Brian Stanley, 27, of Elysburg died Sunday in a crash near his home.

State police say Stanley's truck was hit head on after another vehicle drifted into the oncoming lane on Route 54.  The other driver is listed in critical condition at a hospital.

What made the situation even more heartbreaking for these firefighters was that they responded to the crash.

"It was tough.  It was tough.  Especially since it was our coverage area.  It was our guys who were there first to see him like that," said Captain D.J. Spotts.

Stanley was a volunteer firefighter with Ralpho Fire Company since 2007.  Assistant Chief Knerr says he and Stanley just responded to a fire together on Saturday.

"I rode in the back of the engine with him.  We were talking normal and Sunday there it is.  Everything changed in a heartbeat."

The Ralpho Fire Company just got a new ladder truck last week.  The firefighters say Brian was just there on Friday helping wash it and getting it ready to be put into service.

"Any work that needed to be done, he was here without question, just a very dedicated guy," said Captain Spotts.

Services for Brian Stanley will be held later this week in Northumberland County.  A viewing is scheduled Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Stutz Funeral Home in Mount Carmel and funeral Friday at Queen of Most Holy Rosary Church in Elysburg

Friends say he leaves behind two small children and would have turned 28 on Wednesday