City officials react to the death of North East volunteer firefighter

City officials reacted today to the news of the death of a firefighter at the scene of a motor vehicle accident in North East Township on Sunday.

According to Pennsylvania State Police, Shawn Giles, 53, a volunteer firefighter with the Fuller Hose Co. in North East, was directing traffic at the scene of an earlier crash Sunday afternoon when Giles was struck and killed by an Erie man who allegedly was driving without a license at a high rate of speed, according to Pennsylvania State Police. The firefighter was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which occurred at the intersection of U.S. Route 20 and Brickyard Road.

The driver of the striking vehicle was taken into custody by State Police and arraigned on charges of homicide by vehicle and accidents involving death or injury while not licensed. Both charges are third-degree felonies. The driver was also charged with several summary violations.

What they said:
  • Erie Mayor Joe Schember: “This is a tragedy, and it could have been avoided. I offer my deepest condolences and sympathy to Firefighter Giles’ family and to the Fuller Hose Co.”
  • Erie Police Department Chief Daniel Spizarny: “Every day, first responders โ€“ in the City, and everywhere โ€“ put their lives on the line to protect us all. We must be diligent in protecting them when they are working at emergency scenes.”
  • Erie Fire Department Assistant Chief Leonard Trott: “Whenever possible, I encourage all drivers and bystanders to stay away from emergency scenes so that first responders can focus on helping the people who need it most. If you must navigate through an emergency scene, slow down, pay attention, and follow the direction of law enforcement. This will help keep victims and emergency personnel safe.โ€
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