The Penrose Volunteer Fire Department is mourning the loss of one of its own. On Tuesday night, a car struck and killed Michael Lynch while he was working on an accident scene during snowy weather.
Just before 7 p.m., emergency crews from the department were called out to respond to an accident. The crash was on highway 50 about 8 miles east of Canon City. It was blocking the right lane, so volunteer firefighter Michael Lynch tried to direct traffic into the left lane. That's when a car heading westbound slammed into him. The impact sent him 136 feet down the road. He died about an hour later at the hospital.
Mike Lynch became a firefighter less than a year ago because he wanted to help others. And his death cast a somber mood over the fire station. "He loved the department. Loved what he was doing. Loved helping people. Tragic the way he was lost," says Penrose Fire Chief Leland Jenkins.
Lynch left a lasting impression on fellow firefighters in the short time he was here. "He started in June of last year. He was on the department for 8 months, but he was one of the finest young firemen I've ever seen," says Jenkins.
This is the first time in his 15 years as chief that Jenkins has ever lost a firefighter. "I don't think words can express how devastating it is. It's the first time anything like this has ever happened to the department."
The driver of the car who hit Lynch is just 17 years old. The Colorado State Patrol has not determined if he'll face charges. Investigators do know drugs and alcohol were not a factor.
Michael Lynch leaves behind a wife and two children. Funeral arrangements are pending.
A memorial fund has been set up for his family. You can send donations to:
Penrose Volunteer Fire Department.
P.O. Box 194
Penrose, CO 81240