Danvers man, EMT killed in Ipswich crash Saturday

By JILL HARMACINSKI

Staff writer

IPSWICH -- Kenneth Carlson was a big, hearty guy who loved the outdoors and his career as a local emergency medical technician.

"He was always smiling and he loved helping others," his brother William Carlson of Danvers recalled last night.

Kenneth Carlson, 38, was killed in a late-afternoon car accident on Argilla Road in Ipswich Saturday.

Carlson was a passenger in a Chevy truck that slid off the road and into a tree on Argilla Road, a long street which connects downtown Ipswich with Crane Beach.

Police this weekend released few details on the crash, noting it remains under investigation. Carlson's family and friends, however, said the snowy weather definitely played a role in the accident.

The driver of the Chevy truck, Michelle Zimmerman, 33, of 18 Folger Ave., Beverly, suffered minor injuries, according to police.

Born in Beverly and raised in Danvers, Carlson attended North Shore Vocational Technical High School, graduating in 1982. After high school, he graduated from North Shore Community College, where he earned his accreditation as an intermediate emergency medical technician.

Carlson worked as an EMT on the North Shore for the past 18 years. Mim Redmond-Scione was Carlson's partner on the ambulance in the early 1990s.

She described Carlson as an "excellent" EMT who earned the respect of dozens of colleagues in the ambulance business. He also had a knack for making and keeping friends.

"He was just a blast to be with," Redmond-Scione said. "It's really sickening what's happened."

Darrell Dench, a fellow EMT, was Carlson's friend for the past 14 years. The two had plans early this spring to visit Germany, where Dench planned to renew his wedding vows with his wife.

"He was really my best friend," Dench said yesterday, reached at Carlson's parents home on Bradley Road in Danvers. "We worked 40 hours per week together for the past 14 years."

In addition to his career with American Medical Response, a Newburyport-based ambulance service, Carlson worked on the North Shore as an American Heart Saver CPR instructor. He also taught classes on how to use semi-automatic defibrillators, Dench said.

Apart from his professional success, family and friends said Carlson was an avid outdoorsman. He loved fishing on Cape Ann, Marblehead, Beverly Harbor and Salem shores. And if he wasn't home in Danvers, Carlson could easily be found hiking Mount Katadhin in Maine or camping out at a favorite spot in Raymond, N.H.

"That's what he loved, camping, hiking and fishing," said Faye Kolhonen, a former girlfriend and 20-year friend of Carlson's.

In addition to his brother William and his wife, Joanne, Carlson is survived by his parents, John and Theresa (Carty) Carlson of Danvers, brothers Stephen Carlson of Danvers and Paul Carlson and his wife, Laurie, of Hudson, N.H., and a sister, Anne Stewart, and her husband, Richard, of North Reading.

Carlson was predeceased by a brother, John D. Carlson, who died in a glider accident in Pennsylvania in 2002.