Procession honors Georgia firefighter killed in crash while vacationing in SoCal

- There was a strong show of support Wednesday afternoon as fellow firefighters escorted the body of 23-year-old Ron Herens to a Torrance mortuary.

Herens was killed in a crash Monday night when a suspected drunk driver T-boned the car he was riding in.

“We lost the life of a great man, son, friend and boyfriend,” fellow firefighter Dillon Guest said. “He had so much to live for.”

Guest had to pause during the interview to catch his breath, who is suffering from a punctured lung.

Guest and another firefighter, Doug Blanchard, were lucky enough to survive the wreck that killed their friend. They were rushed to the hospital from the crash on Ocean and Washington in Marina del Rey.

The firefighters were in town on vacation from Marietta, Georgia where they serve on the small department of 135 personnel.

“His passing is going to be crippling, everyone is going to be in mourning,” Guest said.

A long way from home, local departments wanted to make sure the group felt supported.

Los Angeles city and county firefighters escorted Herens’ body from the corner's office to the mortuary and comforted his friends.

“It just shows a really tight bond and really tight brotherhood and sisterhood,” Batt. Chief Brian Dameron of the Los Angeles Fire Department said. “It’s something really incredible, and I don’t think it’s something you see in any other profession.”

Heren served four years with the Marietta Fire Department.

“When it came to firefighting he always did his job and knew the job and was one of our best guys as far as knowledge,” Guest said.

While his friends are remembering his life, they’re also thinking of the driver who hit them -- who was arrested on suspicion of DUI.  

“He was just a young kid too,” Guest said. “23-years-old. He made a bad choice and ruined his life.”

Herens’ body will be flown back to Georgia for his funeral.

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