Off-duty La. EMT killed while aiding crash victims

Josh Wheeler, 26, was heavily involved in his community’s church; the youth chapel will be renamed in his memory

By EMS1 Staff

BATON ROUGE, La. — An EMT died Monday after he was struck by a vehicle while helping crash victims over the weekend. 

EMT Josh Wheeler, 26, was struck by a vehicle that was driving the wrong way, reported WAFB. Wheeler was returning from work when a crash unfolded in front of him and he stopped to render aid. He was transported to the hospital after being struck; he died of his injuries Monday. 

A GoFundMe account has been created to help pay for funeral expenses and support his family. 

Wheeler was heavily involved in his community’s church and served as a youth pastor. The church said it will rename its youth chapel in his memory. 

“There’s never a dull moment with Josh, always excited. I told someone he’s got God laughing right now,” Wheeler’s pastor, Robert Martin, said. 

A second man, 44-year-old Joseph Burnette, had also pulled over to aid the crash victims. He died at the scene after being crushed between two vehicles. Another Good Samaritan was also injured in the crash and is in critical condition at the hospital.

Officials believe the wrong-way driver was impaired. An investigation is underway. 

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