BURKE COUNTY, N.C. (CNN) – Cleanup during the storms led to tragedy for Triple Community Fire Department in North Carolina.
Jason Hensley, 40, a volunteer firefighter was hit and killed by a vehicle while responding to damage from tropical depression Nate on Sunday.
He was helping clear a tree that fell along Highway 70 in Drexel just before midnight when he was struck by a pickup truck and killed on impact.
Investigators believe the driver of the truck was under the influence.
“Somebody is trying to help people because that’s what he does he helps everybody, he doesn’t even know or not he helps you,” says Jed Tallent, Hensley’s cousin. “It’s very frustrating to have people out there doing stuff like that.”
Firefighters say Hensley was wearing his fire gear along with a reflective vest.
The fire truck and Hensley’s vehicle had their red emergency lights on when investigators say Randall Stewart slammed into Hensley and two other emergency vehicles.
Stewart faces charges for DWI, no operator’s license, and reckless driving.
At the fire department, volunteers are remembering how Hensley lived his life.
“It didn’t matter if it was three o’clock in the morning eight o’clock in the evening, Jason was the type of guy that was out there with us doing what needed to be done,” says James Deal with Triple Community Fire.
Firefighters say Hensley’s 16-year-old son was inspired to join as a junior volunteer when his dad joined.
Their fire gear hangs next to each other at the department.