Local News

Granville paramedic killed in head-on collision

Posted July 12, 2011
Updated July 13, 2011

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— An off-duty Granville County paramedic died Tuesday morning when his motorcycle collided head-on with a car on N.C. Highway 96 north of Oxford, authorities said.

Merle Faucette left Oak Hill EMS Station 7 around 7:30 a.m. after hearing that his 91-year-old mother had suffered a massive heart attack at Duke Hospital. He was on his way to tell doctors not to resuscitate her, according to family members.

A northbound 2008 Ford Focus crossed the center line and crashed into Faucette's motorcycle, killing him.

The Highway Patrol said the driver of the Focus, Grover Barnette, had fallen asleep at the wheel. The 63-year-old was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of injuries that authorities described as non-life-threatening.

Granville paramedic killed in head-on crash Granville paramedic killed in head-on crash

Throughout the day Tuesday, a steady stream of people stopped at Faucette's house to grieve and to remember a man who loved his family, his community and his job.

"(He) went out of his way, particularly in the line of duty. (He) just went the extra mile to make sure the patient got the care they deserved," said Ronnie Currin, Faucette's brother-in-law. "Granville County's lost a great medic today."

Faucette's family held a candlelight vigil at the crash scene Tuesday night. His funeral will be held Thursday.

70 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • btneast Jul 13, 2011

    If you're sleepy or tired at the wheel, pull over until you can get yourself together until you can drive safely. Its not worth killing another human being. And 2nd, your remarks are insensitive to those affected by the death of the victim.

    Two things on your comments.1) Falling asleep at the wheel sneaks up on everyone. No one gets behind the wheel if they "think" they will fall asleep...its not intentional. He's still liable, but I doubt very seriously he thought, what the heck, I may fall asleep, but I will drive anyway. 2) GOLO is a discussion forum for all to make any comment they wish (within guidelines) about any article they wish. It is NOT a condolence page at a funeral home. It's not a place where family members should go to read. It's the same comments folks make around the water cooler or break room table.

  • short-dogg Jul 13, 2011

    @ MrX- "If you want your freedom to ride then you must accept the fact that if you are involved in an accident that you will be much more likely to be killed or maimed. If you can't accept that risk, don't ride." -MrX

    1st, I don't understand how your comments are relevant to a man dying at the hands of someone who wrecklessly and carelessly killed someone on the highway. If you're sleepy or tired at the wheel, pull over until you can get yourself together until you can drive safely. Its not worth killing another human being. And 2nd, your remarks are insensitive to those affected by the death of the victim.

  • danacbrooks Jul 13, 2011

    To wmsb63---Ditto, well said. Granville County has lost a great citizen. I did not know Merle very well, however, I do know others of his family and pray that God will carry them. May the outpouring of community support and words of how much he meant to his community, co-workers and friends be a comfort for them. One could only hope, second to serving the Lord, that when our day has come to go Home, we would be thought of as much as he was.

  • Skywatch_NC Jul 13, 2011

    Oh hogwash! Falling asleep at the wheel is not something anyone plans to do. No one knows in advance they will fall asleep while driving. I've nodded off, even when I had had plenty of sleep, just from boredom on long trips. You don't conciously feel it happening. Yes, the guy is still liable, but a felony....get real.

    Misdemeanor seems like a slap in the face ...but oh well.

  • DBnNC Jul 13, 2011

    Was very sorry to hear of Merle's tragic death. My deepest sympathy to his family, friends, paramedic family, and fellow firefighters. I have been a part of the Bullock community in Northern Granville County all my life thus had the opportunity to know Merle and his family through the community and through the Church when we were younger. Merle was a very kind and caring person. On more than one occasion he used his paramedic skills with our family and was so patient, caring, and wanted what was best for the patient. Anytime I ever saw Merle he would always speak without hesitation. Now my thoughts and prayers are with his wife, children, mother, brother, and other family members. We can say many things to comfort the family but only God can fill the void they now have and He will see them through this. Merle outran us to the Father's house, now we all must keep running the race to get there as well.

  • sunneyone Jul 13, 2011

    My heart goes out to his family, friends and co-workers. RIP.

  • MrX-- Jul 13, 2011

    "Yeah! I said it. You got a problem with it? We have a right to the road on our motorcycles just as well as other 4-wheel vehicles, but people are driving so carelessly across the lines, drunk driving, texting, and God knows what else. And taking the lives of people who are just trying to enjoy freedom of the open road. Oh and another thing... my topic and opinion is about motorcycle vs. vehicle type accidents. I'm not referring to other type accidents."
    short-dogg

    A motorcyclist takes the added risk when they go on the road without any protection that a car provides. If you want your freedom to ride then you must accept the fact that if you are involved in an accident that you will be much more likely to be killed or maimed. If you can't accept that risk, don't ride.

  • btneast Jul 13, 2011

    Wish the charge of misdemeanor could be raised to felony death by motor vehicle as there is NO excuse for falling asleep while sitting in a DRIVER'S seat while being in motion.

    Oh hogwash! Falling asleep at the wheel is not something anyone plans to do. No one knows in advance they will fall asleep while driving. I've nodded off, even when I had had plenty of sleep, just from boredom on long trips. You don't conciously feel it happening. Yes, the guy is still liable, but a felony....get real.

  • BubbaDukeforPresident Jul 13, 2011

    Prayers for the family and friends of Mr. Faucette.

    7:30 is awful early to be falling asleep at the wheel unless the motorist was coming home from work. I've dozed off at the wheel before and it's only by the grace of God that I didn't hit someone. Prayers for Barnette too as he deals with his guilt over taken Mr. Faucette's life.

  • Skywatch_NC Jul 13, 2011

    Prayers and thoughts with Mr. Faucette's family, friends and co-workers.

    Wish the charge of misdemeanor could be raised to felony death by motor vehicle as there is NO excuse for falling asleep while sitting in a DRIVER'S seat while being in motion.

More...