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LODD: Off-duty Pa. deputy fire chief electrocuted at crash scene

Scott Township Deputy Chief Daniel Lomax also was a police officer in the area

The Citizens' Voice

WAYNE COUNTY, Pa. — Daniel "JJ" Lomax was always willing to help.

So when the off-duty police officer and volunteer firefighter came across a car accident in Wayne County early Saturday morning, he stopped to assist. When he left his vehicle, he came into contact with downed power lines.

Lomax was electrocuted and died at the scene. He was 55.

As news of his death spread through the communities where he worked as a part-time officer, and the fire departments where he volunteered, family, friends and colleagues said Lomax died like he lived - by helping others.

"He always put others first in his book," said Matthew Pritchyk, first assistant chief for the Scott Township Hose Co. Station 36. "He was always looking out for others."

Lomax, of Factoryville, served as deputy chief for the fire department, and also volunteered in Factoryville and for the Meredith Hose Company in Childs. He worked as a part-time police officer for departments in Mayfield, Forest City and Great Bend.

On Saturday at about 3:10 a.m., Lomax came upon the scene of the accident in Salem Township, Wayne County.

Details on the crash Lomax stopped for were unavailable Saturday. The Wayne County coroner's office has ruled Lomax's death accidental.

Lomax came to Factoryville from the Philadelphia area as a teenager to join a foster family, his adoptive brother Steve Brower said. He became a genuine part of the family, as generous to them and others as they were to him.

"My brother is a provider," Brower said. "He gives to everybody."

After serving on area police departments for many years, Lomax left Northeastern Pennsylvania about a decade ago and worked as a police officer in Maryland, colleagues said. He returned to the area about two years ago.

"He was dependable. Everybody liked him. Everybody knew him," Forest City Chief Paul Lukus said. "He'd go out of his way to help you. If I needed him here in two hours, and regardless of what he had going on, he would be there."

Lomax started working in Great Bend in May 2012 and quickly became active on the police force and in the community, Chief Jon Record said.

"He would give his shirt to anybody," Record said. "He died doing what he loved, and that was helping people."

A photo of Lomax and news of his death, which were posted on the police department's Facebook page, quickly got several hundred comments and shares on Saturday.

Mayfield Chief Joseph Perechinsky said Lomax was the "most dedicated officer I've ever seen."

After working in Mayfield a decade ago, he came back to the department a year ago after returning from Maryland.

"I can't say anything negative about the guy," Perechinsky said. "He will be deeply missed by my department."

Copyright 2013 The Citizens' Voice

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

All Rights Reserved




Comments
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Chaplain Dave Sparks Chaplain Dave Sparks Monday, June 24, 2013 5:47:12 PM The moral of this story is SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. Always be aware of your surroundings before rushing anywhere to help. I was taught this in CERT training, but it's easy to forget in a crisis situation, even for a professional. Pray for Chief Lomax's loved ones, friends, and colleagues.
Donna Graham Hammond Donna Graham Hammond Monday, June 24, 2013 5:47:33 PM RIP prayers
Stewart P. Deveau Stewart P. Deveau Monday, June 24, 2013 6:57:51 PM You are so right Chaplain Sparks! However, when a situation such as this occurs it is not that we beleive we are invinsable, it's that we forget that we aren't! May our Brother Rest in Peace & May God watch over and Bless his family, friends and Brothers & Sisters of the Fire/Police Departments.
Bill Kenney Bill Kenney Monday, June 24, 2013 9:16:00 PM God bless you Brother! Prayers for you and your family to keep them strong in your loss. You dun good!
Sherry Wade Pritchyk Sherry Wade Pritchyk Tuesday, June 25, 2013 6:45:22 AM Hey guys.. He was Deputy Fire Chief of Scott Township Hose Co. Station 36, he was a great guy who just got off work, at 3am, and in the pitch black surroundings.. As he signed on at the scene, was the last they heard from him. And most likely saved the mans life, who needed to be flown to a hospital.

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