Fallen Firefighter Honored
Hundreds of people came to show their support for the family of a fallen firefighter who died in a car accident in Transylvania county last week. 18-year-old Neil Gilbert died Friday morning when his car went off the road and struck a tree on his way to work.
An overflow crowd filled Anchor Baptist Church in Pisgah Forest for the funeral where a friend and pastor recalled Gilbert's passion to be a firefighter saying, "he had a desire to help others more than himself."
Fire departments from across the region joined a long procession of fire trucks and other emergency vehicles. Two ladder trucks suspended a large American flag over Highway 64 in Horse Shoe to pay tribute to Gilbert. The aspiring paramedic began volunteering at the Eowah/Horse Shoe fire department at the age of 15 as a junior firefighter and was elevated to senior status in September on his 18th birthday.
By Frank Fraboni
Follow Frank on Twitter @Frabonz