As they approached the accident scene late Saturday night, November 9, 1996, Jennifer Harrison knew they would be stopping. Her fiancee, volunteer firefighter, Steve Trice, hopped into the ditch to assist a 17-year-old girl laying in pain where she had been thrown from the nearby wreckage of a Nissan. Jennifer Harrison went to call 911.
On her way back, Jennifer spotted a van approaching the scene, unaware of the bedlam ahead. She tried to flag the driver, as did another man, but their warnings were unheeded. Unbelievably, the cable company van swerved at the last minute, missing the accident victim lying in the road and sliding to a stop at the edge of the ditch where Steve was administering first aid. The van driver got out of the van and went to help another accident victim.
Relief of the rescuers was short lived…the soft ditch bank began to give way and as Steve tried to pull the girl to safety, the 6-ton van fell over, killing them both. Police determined drunk driving to be the cause of the first accident.
Steve Trice, 23, had been a volunteer firefighter for over two years and was the son of the first assistant fire chief in nearby Blades.Trice, Sr. said he used to take his son to the firehouse when he was a child: “I think as he got older, he got the feeling of wanting to help people…he’s not the kind of person who could ride by and let someone else do it.” Steve and Jennifer were due to be married in April 1997.