LODD: Ga. forest ranger suffers fatal medical emergency during wildfire

"We are shocked and saddened at the sudden loss of Luke, our friend and co-worker," Georgia Forestry Commission Director Tim Lowrimore said

By Moira Ritter
The Charlotte Observer

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ga. — A 26-year-old forest ranger suffered a fatal medical emergency while on the job, Georgia officials say.

Shaun Luke Daniel was monitoring a contained wildfire on Sunday, June 4, in Washington County, the Georgia Forestry Commission said in a news release. Daniel experienced a medical emergency and died on the scene.

“We are shocked and saddened at the sudden loss of Luke, our friend and co-worker,” Georgia Forestry Commission Director Tim Lowrimore said in the release. “Our hearts are with his family during this devastating time and we’re extending all our support to them and to our GFC family as well.”

Officials said Daniel worked in the Johnson/Washington County Forestry Unit. An internal review surrounding the incident is underway.

Daniel was remembered by loved ones on social media following his death.

“I lost a piece of my heart and gave it back to heaven,” Daniel’s aunt Amy Belflower Brigman wrote on Facebook. “Your laughter was loud and infectious and you would say the craziest things out of nowhere. You loved with all of your heart and grew into a man that made us all proud. Your honesty and trustworthiness is rare. I always called you my Gentle Giant, because you were gentle and tender, always.”

Daniel got married in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, October 2020, according to his aunt’s post.

“You are definitely going to be missed, prayers for your wife and family,” one person commented on Facebook. “It’s not goodbye Luke, I’ll see you again one day!”

“How earth-shattering it is to lose your husband at the beginning years of marriage,” another person commented. “He was a special soul that will be missed deeply.”

Washington County is about 130 miles southeast of Atlanta.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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