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Firefighters wait, pray for injured colleague

Posted December 4, 2009
Updated December 5, 2009

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— Raleigh firefighters stood watch Friday evening at WakeMed, where one of their own was in intensive care after a wreck that involved a Wake County school bus.

Lt. Harry P. "Flip" Kissinger IV, 35, of Wake Forest, underwent multiple medical procedures Friday to treat significant injuries, including head trauma, Assistant Fire Chief Rusty Styons said.

Angela Perry, 23, was making her usual commute when the bus hit her station wagon head-on.

"I was traveling Ligon Mill Road, which I travel every Monday through Friday,” she said.

Driver barely remembers crash with bus Driver barely remembers crash with bus

She said she remembers her car going into a spin, but not much more. Authorities told her she ended up in a driveway on the opposite side of the road at the end of the long set of skid marks.

The school bus, driven by Sheila Wimbush Hall, 52, of Garner, kept moving and hit Kissinger’s truck.

Perry and Hall suffered minor injuries, authorities said. Seven students from Southeast Raleigh High and Centennial Middle schools, who were on the bus, were not injured.

The bus crashed into a ditch, with the cab of the pickup crushed beneath it. It took rescuers about 45 minutes to remove Kissinger from the truck, troopers said.

Authorities are still investigating the wreck, and it was unclear who was at fault in the crash.

Wake County Public School System spokesman Michael Evans said a supervisor went to the wreck scene, and the school system is awaiting the outcome of the wreck investigation by state troopers.

Kissinger is a lieutenant at Fire Station 6, at Oberlin and Fairview roads, and has been with the department for 12 years, Styons said. He is married and has two daughters.

He was on his way home from work at the time of the crash.

"Everything can change just like that,” Perry said.

Having escaped with minor injuries, Perry said her thoughts were with Kissinger, and those firefighters standing watch.

“I may not know him, but I feel bad for him, and I just wish he wasn't in that kind of situation," she said.

Kissinger was listed in critical condition Saturday.

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