Hope Powell, the acting fire chief of Waldo (Florida) Fire and Rescue, was killed on February 26 in the crash of an all-terrain vehicle. An avid 4-wheel enthusiast, she had worked as a paramedic at an ATV race earlier in the day and was riding with friends when the crash occurred. She was thrown from the Honda 4-wheeler she was driving as it began to overturn on a steep hill. It rolled end-over-end and landed on top of her, killing her instantly.
Powell, who was 39, was serving as acting chief while Chief Andy Burkhalter deployed to Iraq with his dive team. At the time of the crash, Burkhalter was still in Norfolk, Virginia, and was able to return to Florida after hearing the news.
Friends told reporters Powell was a “magnetizing, energetic person who dazzled everyone she met. City manager Kim Worley, a close friend, described her as always ready to help, whatever the need was, and also as something of a prankster. All who spoke of her remembered her as always smiling.
She is survived by her husband, Jason, a firefighter with Gainesville Fire Rescue, and by a teenaged daughter.
See additional information in the Gainesville Sun
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