MESA, AZ — The Globe mayor told ABC15 the EMT who was killed in a crash involving a tractor-trailer on State Route 87 Friday afternoon was Brendan Bessee.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety said Bessee was driving the ambulance and was pronounced deceased at the scene of the crash, located on SR-87 near McDowell Road.
A procession Saturday afternoon stopped at various fire stations on the way from downtown Phoenix to a mortuary in Globe.
A paramedic from the ambulance was also taken to the hospital in critical condition, SRFD saying they needed surgery. The driver of the tractor-trailer was also hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries.
According to DPS, the ambulance was driving with emergency lights on, heading to a call involving a woman having complications with her pregnancy. The ambulance attempted to make a turn onto SR-87 when it was hit by the tractor-trailer.
"By statute, people are required to yield the right of way for the emergency vehicle, however the driver of that emergency vehicle still has to operate with due diligence and care," said DPS Captain Paul Etnire.
A procession took place Friday night to transport the EMT that was killed.
Salt River Fire Chief Daryl Dash said this is the first line of duty death for the department, a department that's been active for nearly 45 years.
ABC15 was told the two in the ambulance had been with the department for less than four months.
"It's been heartbreaking, we've been getting through this, trying to get through this. We have a lot of support from our Valley firefighters," said Dash.
There's just over 100 people who are part of SRFD. ABC15 was told some of the SRFD staff are at the hospital with family for the paramedic who survived the crash.
"I'm not sure if we're lucky, I'd like to use the term, we're blessed," said a grieving Dash.
SR-87 was closed from Gilbert and McDowell Roads for about eight hours following the crash.
*CLOSURE* *PLEASE SHARE*— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) April 8, 2022
State Route 87 is closed in both directions due to a crash north of McDowell Road.
The northbound lanes are closed at McDowell. The southbound lanes are closed at Gilbert Road.
Expect delays. There is no estimated time to reopen.#phxtraffic #SR87 pic.twitter.com/5jJTGLE4wY
No other details have been released on the crash at this time.