Kenly firefighter and dad of 3 dies after assisting at vehicle crash

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KENLY, N.C. (WNCN) — A volunteer firefighter  in Johnston County died after responding to a vehicle crash in Kenly on Saturday, officials said.

John Morris Davis Jr., 45, a Kenly firefighter, was among fire crews who responded to a crash on Princeton-Kenly Road, the fire department said a statement to the media.

“He just wanted to help people, whether it was helping people at the fire station or helping the public,” said Tim Little, Kenly Asst. Fire Chief.

Little says Davis had a history of helping others. He first volunteered at the Kenly Fire Department back in 2003, while he was also a police officer.

After moving away and then moving back, he returned to the fire department in March. Saturday, Davis and several other firefighters responded to car accident.

“The truck just came flying. He came across the yard and hit that pole right there,” said Paula Gulick, who watched the accident happen in her front yard.

Little says the SUV was pinned against the light pole, pinning the driver inside the vehicle.

“We were watching what was going on over here and all of a sudden this firefighter was on this gurney. And just, I was like, ‘What’s wrong? What’s going on with him?’” said Gulick.

Davis was treated on the scene by EMS and was taken to the hospital, but passed away in the ambulance before he arrived.

“It’s a shock and I think we’re still in shock. And obviously sometimes it doesn’t seem like it’s real. But we know it is,” said Little.

Davis’ death is a reality felt by neighboring departments as well. Crews from Antioch and elsewhere are stepping in to help Kenly respond to calls.

“The brotherhood stretches not just here in Johnston County but all the state of North Carolina and throughout the nation, anytime a tragedy like this happens,” said Kendall Hocutt, Antioch Fire Chief.

“His dedication to the fire service and the community will be greatly missed. We ask everyone to keep the family and the Kenly Fire Department in their thoughts,” said Kevin Madsen, Johnston County Emergency Services coordinator.

“Basically at the end of the day, he lost his life helping save a life,” said Little of Davis.

Davis is survived by his wife, Dwaina Davis, and three children, Courtney Davis, Autumn Davis, and Hanna Holland; as well as, his father, John Davis, Sr., and half-brother, James Daniel Grice.

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