Dump truck hits, kills paramedic riding his motorcycle to work

Melvin “Dennis” Fortney III also taught at a community college and had retired as a battalion chief for Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue


Simone Jasper
The Charlotte Observer

KINSTON, N.C. — A beloved Eastern North Carolina paramedic was killed when a dump truck hit him on his way to work, news outlets reported.

Melvin “Dennis” Fortney III is remembered as a hard worker who taught at a community college and shared his knowledge with new colleagues.

“He would always take them under his wing,” Jones County Emergency Services Director Tim Pike told McClatchy News in a phone interview. “He would guide them and show them what they needed.”

But Fortney’s life was cut short when he was heading to his job on Tuesday, Aug. 9, officials said.

The 56-year-old was riding a motorcycle south on a highway when a dump truck was going north, WITN and WCTI reported. The truck driver tried to turn into a parking lot and ran into Fortney, according to the Kinston Police Department.

Fortney died at the scene of the crash, officials said.

The incident was reported just after 6 a.m. on N.C. Highway 58 in Kinston. It happened near Lenoir Community College and roughly 85 miles southeast of Raleigh.

“Officers are still conducting their investigation into the incident and charges are pending,” police wrote Aug. 9 in a Facebook post.

After Fortney’s death, other departments are helping to handle the emergency response in Jones County. Though Pike said his workers didn’t respond to their colleague’s crash, he gave them time off.

“We just want to make sure that their mindset is right to be able to take care of patients,” he said. “That’s what Dennis would have wanted. For him, the patient was always first.”

The Kinston Police Department didn’t immediately share additional information with McClatchy News on Aug. 10.

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