Tuckahoe Volunteer Rescue Squad remembers 86-year-old member - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Tuckahoe Volunteer Rescue Squad remembers 86-year-old member

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Beverly Luther volunteered with the Tuckahoe Volunteer Rescue Squad for 16 years, and since she didn't have a big immediate family, the crew became her adopted family.

Thursday night, the squad draped their station and ambulance in black in memory of the "feisty" dispatcher.

Fire officials said they're investigating if Luther, 86, may have suffered a medical emergency when she crossed the median on North Parham and crashed into another vehicle head-on Wednesday night.

Luther died at the scene, while the driver of the other vehicle was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police said neither speed nor alcohol was a factor in the crash.

At the station, the squad said her loss is a big one.

"She was really a feisty little lady," said Ed Farrish. Farrish has been a member of the Tuckahoe Volunteer Rescue Squad for nearly 50 years. For the past 16, he sat right next to Luther.

"She would keep us straight when we would occasionally get out of hand in here," he said.

Luther dispatched crews to numerous emergencies over the years, but Wednesday night, she was on the other end of a 911 call.

"That is your biggest nightmare," said John Tatum, President of Tuckahoe Rescue.

Tatum said he first heard about the crash over the police scanner. A Volvo had crossed over the median and hit a Mercury sedan head-on. Tatum said he had no idea Luther was the fatality, until he got that phone call.

"Tuckahoe is a special place to all the members here," he said through tears. "She was family to us and we were her family."

Now, her "family" has covered their patches and badges with black bands, and the ambulance she once dispatched is draped with black ribbon. While these notions will last through the funeral, the loss will be felt for a lifetime.

Funeral arrangements are not yet set. In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations can be made to the Tuckahoe Volunteer Rescue Squad. Visit http://tuckahoerescue.org/ to donate.

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