Updated: 02-25-2004 09:52:52 AM

Motorcycle Crash Kills Palm Beach County, Florida Firefighter


AKILAH JOHNSON
Courtesy of Sun-Sentinel

Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue crews tried to save the life of one of their own Tuesday when firefighter Chad Hancock crashed a motorcycle he'd bought less than a week ago, officials said.

Hancock, 34, was driving southbound on Jog Road near Okeechobee Boulevard when he lost control of his motorcycle and crashed into the median, officials said. His body flew into a nearby tree, police said.

At 4:55 p.m., a 911 call came in for an accident. Fire-rescue crews arrived to discover the victim was their colleague. No other vehicles were involved in the crash, officials said.

"It's the kind of situation you don't wish on anybody," Capt. Don DeLucia said. "You're doing everything you can to save somebody you know."

Hancock, a Michigan native, was taken by helicopter to St. Mary's Hospital in West Palm Beach, where he died.

The father of two had been a firefighter at Station 36, nicknamed "The House of Pain," since October 2001, DeLucia said. The station, at 4556 Cresthaven Blvd., west of West Palm Beach, is one of the busiest in the county, he said.

Co-workers said Hancock, who was also a paramedic, never complained about the workload.

"He was always in a good mood and always ready to do his job," fellow firefighter-paramedic Nick Duffy said. "He was always teaching [us] about the other side of our job, which is medicine."



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