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Firefighter shields victim in fiery crash with his own body

Crash Oceana County fatal.jpg
Posted at 9:50 AM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 10:02:57-04

COLFAX TOWNSHIP, Mich.  — A firefighter called to the scene of a head-on crash north of Walkerville used his own body to shield a crash victim from flames while she was being rescued by fellow first responders.

The crash itself was dramatic enough, with two people killed in a head-on crash on 176th Avenue north of Rossel Lake Road in Colfax Township in Oceana County.

One vehicle caught fire, and that’s when the firefighter, whose identity was not released, placed himself on the hood of Vicki Branch’s minivan so she could be shielded from the fire and pulled from the vehicle.
Branch was taken to a Walkerville parking lot where an Aero Med helicopter picked her up. She is in stable condition at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.

The firefighter’s “turnout gear” was described as “destroyed”.

The crash occurred when a speeding car driven by Josue Morales, 30, of Hart, passed a vehicle in a no passing zone, went out of control off the road, then back onto the road and hit the Branch vehicle coming the other way. Morales and Enrique Guajardo, 23, of Donna, Texas, both died at the scene.