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Procession held for fallen firefighter killed during rescue attempt

Published: May. 4, 2022 at 10:36 AM EDT
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – The body of a fallen firefighter was escorted from Charleston to a funeral home in Gassaway Wednesday morning.

Volunteer firefighter with the Gassaway Fire Department John Forbush, 24, died Sunday trying to save a mother and daughter after a vehicle plunged into the Elk River.

Following the incident, Captain Scarbro with the Braxton County Sheriff confirmed the deaths of Latonya Bell, 42, of Cleveland, Ohio, and her daughter Havana Pipkins, 8 were the result of a murder-suicide.

Forbush died while attempting a rescue operation. According to a release from the West Virginia Fire Marshal, Forbush had served as a volunteer firefighter in the Gassaway community for four years.

Mother, daughter, firefighter dead after car goes into Elk River in murder-suicide

“John D. Forbush selflessly gave his life for strangers in need,” officials said following Forbush’s death.

John Forbush from the Gassaway Fire Department
John Forbush from the Gassaway Fire Department(Facebook: Short Gap Volunteer Fire Company)

A wake will be held for Forbush Monday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Gassaway Baptist Church.

Funeral services will begin Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Roach Funeral Home in Gassaway, West Virginia.

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