MARIETTA, Ga. -- A Marietta firefighter was killed and two fellow firefighters were injured when the vehicle they were driving was hit by a suspected drunk driver, Monday night.
According to authorities, 23-year-old Ron Herens of Powder Springs, was driving in Los Angeles with four other members of the Marietta Fire Department around 10 p.m. Monday when the accident happened.
Herens was ejected from the vehicle during the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene. The other two firefighters were taken to the hospital. One was treated for a possible broken collarbone and hip and the other was treated for lacerations he sustained in the crash. A couple in a third vehicle was also involved in the crash but they were not injured.
Marietta Fire Chief Jackie Gibbs said that Herens "was always smiling and always had a twinkle in his eye. His smile was a little mischievous. He was fun to be around and fun around the fire station. Everybody here thought the world of Ron Herens."
A spokesperson for the family told one of 11Alive's reporters that "as parents, they are grieving the loss of their son. Their thoughts are with the other two gentleman involved."
According to Gibbs, the firefighters were visiting California on vacation. After the accident, Chief Gibbs released this statement:
"It is with great sadness that I report the death of Marietta firefighter Ron C. Herens. Ron tragically died in a car crash in Los Angeles, California while on vacation with four other firefighters from Marietta Fire Department. Ron was a passenger in a car with two fellow firefighters when their car was struck by a DUI driver. The other two firefighters, Dillon Guest and Doug Blanchard were transported by ambulance to UCLA Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. Funeral arrangements are pending."
According to the LAPD Pacific Division, the driver who struck the firefighters, Benjamin Seider, was taken into custody on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Seider was later released from custody after he bonded out of jail.
An official police escort was requested to transport the fallen firefighter's body to the coroner's office. A Code 3 procession will be put in place to transfer Herens' body, which is very rarely done.
Chief Gibbs wanted to stress that "the LA Fire, LA Police and LA Coroner's Office is going above and beyond for them. They have been great. It shows the quality of the brotherhood of public safety."
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