Jennifer LaFene, 30, a part-time paramedic with North Central EMS in Bellevue, Ohio, was killed on Tuesday, November 7, 2000, when she stopped to help an elderly man.
LaFene and her partner, Kathleen Anderson, were en route to pick up a patient from a hospital in Tiffin when they saw John Wood walking along State Route 101 in the dark. LaFene was concerned for Wood's safety, and the two turned back and stopped their ambulance along the shoulder. LaFene got out and went across to talk with Wood, and was hit by a minivan. She sustained severe head trauma and fractured cervical vertebrae. Anderson immediately called for assistance, but LaFene was pronounced dead on the scene.
Wood, who was also slightly injured in the crash, was treated at a local hospital. He later expressed his sadness for LaFene's death. "If she hadn't been trying to help me, it wouldn't have happened," he told a local newspaper.
LaFene was also a substitute teacher at Immaculate Conception School in Bellevue, where she taught sixth grade full-time in 1998 and 1999. She leaves her husband, William, who is a firefighter/paramedic with Perkins Township Fire Department; a daughter, 4; and a one-year-old son. Memorial contributions may be made to: The Kristen and Benjamin LaFene Educational Fund, Citizens Banking Co., 100 E. Water Street, Sandusky OH 44870.
NETWORKING THE WOMEN OF TODAY'S FIREFIGHTING WORLD, AND PROVIDING RESOURCES TO HELP BUILD THE FIRE SERVICE OF THE FUTURE