North Carolina Firefighter Killed En Route to Call

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. --

A crash in Rockingham County killed a volunteer firefighter Tuesday morning, authorities said.

Paul Ellington, who had served for 17 years with the Oregon Hill Volunteer Fire Department, was on his way to a mobile home fire when he lost control of his vehicle, struck a group of trees and went down an embankment.

Authorities said Ellington was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident and speed played a role in that crash.

"We are a very close knit department," said Oregon Hill Fire Chief Dwain Strader. "And each of these people that are here -- they're a part of the fire department family."

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The visitation is Thursday, January 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Wilkerson Funeral Home in Reidsville.The funeral is Friday, January 4 at 3 p.m.

It's being held at Mount Carmel United Methodist Church in Reidsville. The church is at 361 Mount Carmel Church Rd.Community members are welcome to attend both services.Firefighters from departments across Rockingham County will lead a procession from the funeral home to the church. Time is TBA.

The family asks anyone who wishes to offer flowers or cards to send them to the funeral home: Wilkerson Funeral Home 1909 Richardson Drive Reidsville (336) 349-4341.

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