Bedford firefighters honoring one of their own who died in weekend crash

Bethany Franklin was killed in a wrong-way crash in Albemarle County on Sunday.

By Alison Wickline - Reporter

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. - Members of the Bedford County Fire and Rescue are mourning the loss of one of their own.

A Troutville woman who worked with the paramedic was one of two people killed in a head-on collision in Albemarle County on Sunday morning.

"She cared beyond the call, not just going to the call and taking them to the hospital. She cared beyond that," said Janet Blankenship, deputy chief. 

In her 30 years on earth, Bethany Franklin touched a lot of lives. She had been a firefighter and paramedic for Bedford County Fire and Rescue since 2009. The deputy chief said in her work she was unlike any other.

"She would go back to someone's house and go back and check on them. One day it was to give them a glass of water, or something to help and elderly person out, she had a part about her that was very touching," said Blankenship. 

According to State Police, Bethany's car was struck head-on Sunday morning by a wrong-way driver on Interstate 64 in Albemarle County. A tragic, unexpected loss that has first responders in Bedford County still reeling and remembering a co-worker who brought people a little light on their darkest days.

"She had a very sensitive way with patients and partners that really put people at ease and comforted them," said Fire Chief Jack Jones Jr.

At the department, a flag flies at half-staff and firefighters' badges are now striped with black. A show of heart for a first responder, and a friend.

Bethany's family has released a statement about her life and legacy, saying: 

"Bethany was a beautiful young lady who cared for so many. She was a dedicated paramedic, firefighter, respiratory therapist, daughter and friend. She was always working to improve herself, recently graduated top of her class with a degree in respiratory therapy and had taken a position at UVA in the pediatric ICU. She was a devoted aunt to her nieces and nephew, spending as much time with them as possible. We could not be more proud of the young woman she became, and she will be dearly missed by her family and community."

The family is also asking anyone who planned to donate flowers for Bethany, to donate to a local fire department or rescue squad in her name. 

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