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Community mourns Elsie firefighter killed in collision as he assisted others

‘Zach is definitely one of our hometown guys’
Community mourns Elsie firefighter killed in collision as he assisted others
Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 10:00 PM EST
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ELSIE, Mich. (WILX) - A community gathered Tuesday night to honor and remember the life of a 20-year-old firefighter who lost his life after being struck by a vehicle.

Read: Elsie firefighter dies while assisting others in collision

Zach Miller was involved in a collision Tuesday morning. As he was checking the other vehicle for injuries, he was struck by another vehicle.

“He was just so kind and genuine to everybody,” said Chloe Taylor.

Miller was a firefighter for the Elsie Fire Department. Taylor went to high school with Miller and she said there wasn’t anyone he didn’t get along with. The two sat by each other in multiple classes and had to continuously be reminded to stop talking to each other.

“He didn’t care who you were, he liked you. He made you feel like he appreciated and valued your time with him,” Taylor said. “He was just a great person, overall.”

Shane Grinnell, the assistant chief for the Elsie Fire Department, said it was clear from a young age that Miller wanted to help people.

“He started with our fire department as a cadet at the age of 16,” Grinnell said. “He was very involved with the department, very involved with his family and friends. He was a good fit.”

Grinnell said Miller spent a lot of time with his firefighting brothers and sisters in Elsie and that there will definitely be a hole in the department as a result of his passing.

“We notified our department first thing this morning,” Grinnell said. “Right now, everybody is still in shock in the community, along with our department.”

Members of the Elsie Fire Department had a private meeting Tuesday night to allow one another to grieve among friends.

Grinnell said a public vigil is being planned.

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