Sumrall firefighter recounts night of fatal accident

Sumrall firefighter recounts night of fatal accident
Source: WDAM

SUMRALL, MS (WDAM) - Sumrall volunteer firefighter Shawn Huhn is recovering from two broken ribs and a bruised leg. He was one of three firefighters hit by a driver in Lamar County on March 15. He was the only one to survive.

Firefighters Alvin Beasley and Loretta "Lorrie" Sykes were pronounced dead at the scene. Brandon Chance Eaton, 31, has been charged for the accident in connection to the deaths.

The firefighters were directing traffic after a dump truck got tangled in some power lines on Highway 589 at Oloh Road when Eaton ran into them.

MOBILE USERS: View photos from scene here. 

Huhn sat down with WDAM 7 News Monday for the first time since the accident to share his story.

"We were just talking, I was standing with Mr. Alvin and Ms. Lorrie and then pretty much, I just heard some squealing," Huhn said. "I blacked out and started flipping through the air. When I landed, I woke up."

Huhn said he saw the car down Highway 589, but did not think he needed to worry about it.

"Probably about three hundred yards when I saw the vehicle, but I wasn't thinking nothing of it," said Huhn. "I just turned, to make sure nothing was coming up on us from behind. And, I turned and that's when it all happened."

Huhn said they were about to clear the scene, but Fire Chief Heath Sumrall needed to talk to the power company before leaving. Huhn said if Sumrall had not walked about, he would've been injured or killed as well. Eaton was taken into custody about six miles from the scene of the accident.

"We all go through things every day of our lives to make us stronger. I've gone through this for a reason to make me stronger, to make myself more available to other people," Huhn said.

Huhn said he is trying to keep moving and focusing on recovering with the town of Sumrall.

"Things will happen, just out of the blue," Huhn said. "No matter what you do in your life, live your life as it's going to be the last minute that you're living it, because you never know when it could be your time to go."

Huhn has served as a volunteer firefighter in Sumrall for 15 years. He said this accident will not keep from getting back to work when his recovery is finished.

"Why give up? There's people still out there that needs people, that's going to be there for them. Why give up?" said Huhn.

Huhn said Beasley was like a father, or grandfather, to many in the community, while Lorrie loved being a firefighter. He said they will both be missed in the department and community.

"Just to see how the community has come together is very heart touching," Huhn said. "To still be here to see that and be a part of that, is a miracle."

Huhn said he will continue to serve, for he believes he was given a second chance to help others.

"God's got reasons and I've been blessed," he said.