Firefighter injured in wreck dies

Lt. Harry "Flip" Kissinger

December 10, 2009 9:00:00 PM PST
A Raleigh firefighter who was injured in a wreck involving a school bus last week died Friday from his injuries.

Earlier this week, investigators determined the school bus driver was at fault in last week's crash.

Lt. Harry "Flip" Kissinger was in a pickup truck that was hit by a bus driven by Sheila Saroya Hall, 52, of Garner.

Investigators say Hall crossed the center line before the crash. Hall's bus was headed eastbound when it collided with a westbound car first. Then the bus hit Kissinger's truck head-on.

Hall, who was originally charged with driving left of center, is now also charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

Kissinger had just left work and was on his way to take his children to school.

Assistant Fire Chief Rusty Styons says Kissinger's death is difficult to accept.

"Today was a fulfillment of our worst fears," Styons said. "How do you fix the unfixable and how do you tolerate the intolerable?"

Following the news of Kissinger's death, the pastor at the church Kissinger attended sent out a message to the congregation.

"Flip was one of those guys that loved everyone and helped everyone and in turn everyone loved Flip," Richland Creek Community Church Senior Pastor David Sims said. "He loved his family, his fellow firefighters, his friends, and his church! Flip loved the Lord and was a man of faith! And so our temporary loss becomes heaven's great gain!"

Kissinger joined the City of Raleigh Fire Department in 1997. He was assigned to Fire Station 6 on Fairview Road. He leaves behind his wife, Jill, and their two daughters, 9-year-old Hannah and 3-year-old Abigail.

A fund has been set up to help care for Kissinger's family. Donations to the Kissinger Family Care Fund can be made at branches of the First Citizens Bank. A "Fill the Boot" fundraiser was held Saturday in Raleigh to help with this fund as well.

Visitation will be held At Richland Creek Community Church in Wake Forest, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, December 15.

Services will be held on Wednesday, December 16 at the same location (3229 Burlington Mills Road) at 1 p.m.

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