‘Life is precious’: First responders, community pull together after deadly Dinwiddie crash

‘Life is precious’: First responders, community pull together after deadly Dinwiddie crash

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Dinwiddie first responders who worked the crash and community members are pulling together after the deadly crash involving a church van.

“Emotionally, it’s a somber day throughout the community,” Dinwiddie EMS Captain Dawn Titmus said.

“They knew it involved a bus that was fully loaded at a church,” Dinwiddie Fire and EMS Chief Dennis Hale said.

“Life is precious, you never know from one minute to the next,” Dinwiddie Battalion Chief Barbara Hale said.

Members of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Dinwiddie came together for their second night of revival.

Tuesday evening, four members of Shiloh Baptist Church in Blackstone were killed when a truck rear-ended the church van while it was turning in. Several others in the van were taken to the hospital.

“I just want you all to pray for my family, and I will pray for you,” one woman said during the service.

Inside the revival, the daughter of one of the victims spoke out thanking everyone for their support.

“It’s never easy,” Titmus said.

About four miles away, Dinwiddie first responders recalled the night that forever changed the community.

“Your training kicks in and you set aside anything like emotions,” Hale said.

About four miles away, Dinwiddie first responders recalled the night that forever changed the community.
About four miles away, Dinwiddie first responders recalled the night that forever changed the community. (Source: NBC12)

Hale says it was all hands on deck when the call came in.

“Not only do you have a lot of patients, but a lot of people that had converged onto the scene,” Hale said.

“Where this accident happened, we were there just a few weeks ago for family and friends day with our fire truck with them,” Head Dinwiddie Fire Chief Alvin Langley said.

“It’s so very important that we are cohesive whether we are from Dinwiddie County or if it’s regional,” Titmus said.

A total of six agencies were called in to help with the crash.

“You try to start imagining what the injuries are. What equipment you’re going to need, and try to pre-plan as much as you can before you get there,” Hale said.

As community members sang songs and comforted one another, the community is holding each other a little tighter after such a loss.

“You can’t just let one call define what happened - you have to be ready for the next call,” Langley said.

First responders say once the scene started clearing up, several people from the church and family members thanked them for their hard work.

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