Community remembers Van Wyck assistant fire chief killed while directing traffic

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Assistant Fire Chief Dennis Straight was hit by a vehicle and killed in Lancaster County Wednesday evening while directing traffic, according to the Van Wyck Fire Department. 

The Van Wyck Fire Chief says that the Assistant Fire Chief was struck while responding to a wreck and directing traffic on Hwy 521 at Hwy 5. Straight was on duty at the time of death. 

Straight served as member of the Charlotte Road Van Wyck Fire Department for more than 20 years. During his time at the department he served as a firefighter all the way up to Chief. There are only 10 members at the volunteer fire station.

“It’s a small community fire department of 10 members. To have the assistant chief killed in such a tragic way, it’s going to take a long time for us to heal, but that’s when we like to rally around each other and draw closer together," said Lancaster County Fire Marshal Russell Rogers."

Straight was also described as a mentor to many of the younger firefighters at the station. He served during community events. He was the Santa on the fire truck during the Christmas parade.

“As a volunteer you say goodbye to your loved ones and many times over 20 years he’s gotten up in the middle of the night and left and came back. I can’t even imagine how she’s feeling right now. We just want to lift her up and comfort her and spend time with her, let her know we care and will be there for her.”

Last night, firefighters stayed by Straight’s wife side to offer her support. No arrangements have been announced yet.