UPDATE: 11/29/12 @ 6:30 P.M.
MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A close-knit community is missing a vital member. Mingo County EMT, firefighter and security guard Chris Staggs was laid to rest Thursday, after suffering a seizure on the job last weekend.
There was an outpouring of support from the entire region.
“Ambulances that have come from Logan County, Boone County, Dunlow sent an ambulance down,” said Staggs’ coworker Chip Ball.
Staggs died after suffering an apparent seizure behind the wheel of an ambulance Saturday in Mingo County. The ambulance crashed into a home, and Staggs was rushed to the hospital where he died.
Chip Ball was his partner on the job for more than a year.
“He was always in good humor,” Ball said. “You never had to ask for Chris's help. He always volunteered it.”
Thursday, Chris was remembered with a large funeral at the Williamson Fieldhouse, and burial behind his family's home in Lenore.
The funeral procession stretched more than a mile and lasted an hour. Chip says Chris wouldn't know what to think of all the fuss.
“He'd laugh,” Ball said. “Probably wonder why we're going to all the trouble.”
To say Chris was a lot of things to a lot of people would be an understatement.
“The entire community all the way down the line is going to miss Chris,” Ball said. “He's going to leave a big hole that no one is going to be able to fill.”
The service for 35-year-old Chris Staggs of Lenore will be held at the Williamson Field House. A visitation will be held there on Wednesday.
Co-worker and paramedic L.C. Blankenship says Staggs became ill behind the wheel of a STAT medical medical services ambulance on Saturday. Staggs lost control of the ambulance, which crashed into the back of a house.
Paramedic Joey Carey, who is Staggs' brother-in-law, says it appears Staggs suffered a seizure.
Staggs died at Williamson Memorial Hospital.
Chris Staggs, 35, of Lenore, was a STAT emergency medical services employee stationed in Williamson in Mingo County. Officials tell WSAZ.com Staggs had a seizure and crashed his ambulance.
Staggs hit a wall along 4th Avenue, then went up on a sidewalk, collided with the steps of a church and then crashed into an awning of a business and finally ended up smashing into a home on 5th Avenue.
Staggs was taken to the hospital but later died from his injuries.
Several of his friends and fellow coworkers are shaken up by the accident and are now left grieving a major loss to the community.
The crash is still being investigated. Keep clicking WSAZ.com for updates.
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