Vigil for fallen Sumrall firefighters - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Vigil for fallen Sumrall firefighters

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Alvin Beasley.  Source: WDAM Alvin Beasley. Source: WDAM
Lorrie Sykes.  Source: WDAM Lorrie Sykes. Source: WDAM
Source: WDAM Source: WDAM

Members from over 15 fire departments joined together Thursday night in Sumrall to remember the lives of volunteer firefighters 80-year-old Alvin Beasley and 53-year-old Lorrie Sykes.

Both volunteer firefighters were hit and killed Wednesday evening on Highway 589 at Oloh Road while directing traffic for an incident.  Brandon Chance Eaton ran into Beasley and Sykes, as well as Shaun Hohn, and fled the scene.  Beasley and Sykes were killed on impact, Hohn suffered some broken ribs and a bruised leg.  He has since been released from the hospital.

Alvin Beasley

Alvin Beasley worked for the Sumrall Volunteer Fire Department for 47 years, serving as a fire chief and positions in the town throughout his life.  The fire station is named in his honor and walls inside the station are filled with plaques, trophies and pictures honoring Beasley.

Fire Chief Heath Sumrall said when he heard Beasley over the radio on a call, everything would be under control.  Sumrall said they were just about to clear the scene Wednesday evening when the hit-and-run occurred. 

Jo Ann Robbins, a city clerk and longtime friend, served as the flower girl at Beasley's wedding. 

"If you lived in Sumrall, you knew Alvin," said Robbins.  "He's one of those people, my husband and I talked last night, you're not going to know what you miss until Alvin's gone. Just a lot of things that he did that people didn't even know that he did," Robbins said.

"We are used to working wrecks, seeing things a lot of people don't see," said Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel.  "But, it really hits home when it's somebody you know, somebody you admire."

Lorrie Sykes

Sumrall Fire Chief Heath Sumrall said Sykes had recently joined the department, in the last year or so.  Sykes also spent time working for the volunteer department in Hickory Grove.

"She really liked the medical side of things," said Sumrall.  "She just told me she had another certificate to add to the list."

Another Sumrall firefighter said Sykes had a passion for being a first responder and being an EMT.  She said they shared a training course together and she could see the passion in Sykes. 

"This is rocking Sumrall to the roots, all three firefighters were held in high esteem," said Sheriff Rigel.   "They were very popular and everybody liked them. In Sumrall, everyone know everybody, so this effects everyone in Sumrall," Rigel said.

The third firefighter injured in the accident, Shaun Hohn, was released from the hospital Thursday afternoon.  Lamar County Fire Coordinator George Stevens said Hohn suffered a few broken ribs and a bruised leg.

A Lamar County man charged in a hit-and-run that killed two volunteer firefighters and injured another made his initial appearance Thursday morning.

Brandon Chance Eaton, 31, is charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing death.  His bond was set at $100,000 by Lamar County Justice Court Judge Charles Greer Thursday morning.

Eaton had a previous criminal record.  Sheriff Rigel said the department is awaiting toxicology results from the crime lab.  Additional charges are pending in the investigation. 

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