Ron Allen, who served in the Tar Heel Fire Department, was marking fire hydrants along northbound Highway 87 early Friday morning when his truck was rear-ended by a Ford Explorer driven by 34-year-old Linda Bascon of St. Pauls. Investigators said he had stopped his Ford truck along the left lane of the road, put on his flashers, and spray-painted an arrow on the pavement.
"The vehicle hit him in the rear, and it pushed the truck forward, and it ran over him," said Bladen County Fire Marshal Mitchell Byrd.
Bascon was flown to UNC Hospitals, where she was listed in stable condition Saturday afternoon.
After he was pronounced dead at the scene, Allen's body was draped with an American flag and placed atop Engine 574. The truck rolled past Station 57, where flags flew at half-staff.
Allen, who friends said was in his mid-30s, had a full-time job as a corrections officer at a state prison. Friends said firefighting was his passion, however. He joined the department when he was a teenager and attended all the fire training schools. He was marking the fire hydrants on his day off.
"On all of his days off, that's where he was mostly found - working, or anything going on in the community. He was very dedicated, very dedicated to his church," said friend Jackie Singletary.
Authorities said the accident remains under investigation, and charges against Bascon are pending. The reason for the collision remains unknown.
Visitation for Allen will be held on Sunday from 7-9 p.m. at Tar Heel Baptist Church. A memorial service will be held on Monday at 4 p.m. at the Tar Heel Fire Department on Tar Heel Ferry Road. A walking processional of uniformed firefighters to Tar Heel Baptist Church will be conducted following the service. Graveside services will follow the processional at Tar Heel Baptist Church.
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