Local News

Granville paramedic killed in head-on collision

Posted July 12, 2011 12:48 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2011 6:03 a.m. EDT

— 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.

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.