Budding firefighter dies in crash

GREENFIELD — The Sugar Creek Township Fire Department is mourning the loss of one of its own after a department intern was killed in a car crash Thursday.

Kyle Gulley, 20, of Greenfield, was working to unload a car from a tow truck into his family’s driveway in the 2300 block of South County Road 200W around 11 p.m. Thursday when a passing driver stuck him, police said.

Gulley was thrown into the center of the roadway and was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.

Gulley comes from a firefighting family and was looking to follow in his family’s footsteps. He was in the beginning stages of becoming a firefighter, and he was working in the Sugar Creek Township Fire Department’s internship program, township trustee Bob Boyer said.

The tow truck Gulley was working with was stopped in the southbound lane of South County Road 200W, police said.

Gulley walked around the tow truck into the northbound lane of the roadway and the path of a car driven by Darcie Huber, 18, police said.

Huber, of Greenfield, told police she saw the tow truck and slowed to pass it but did not see Gulley before she hit him. She stopped immediately after the crash; her 2010 Ford Focus sustained heavy damage to the front end, according to police scanner traffic.

Huber was taken to Hancock Regional Hospital with minor injuries, police said. She was released early Friday morning.

A portion of South County Road 200W between county roads 200S and 300S was closed for several hours overnight while the Hancock County Fatal Accident Crash team investigated.

Police called the incident a tragic accident; they do not anticipate asking for any criminal charges to be filed.

Gulley’s family has a long history with the Sugar Creek Township Fire Department, Boyer said: his mother, Beth Gulley, is the fire and life safety educator for the department; his brother, Kenneth Gulley, is a volunteer firefighter.

Gulley was a 2014 graduate of New Palestine High School. Principal Keith Fessler remembers the young man as being a likable student who made a lasting impression on his teachers and peers, Fessler said.

“He was one of those kids with a really unique sense of humor,” Fessler said. “It is really a shame, … a really sad situation.”

Gulley’s interest in fire safety began at a young age, and he joined the fire science program in New Palestine with his older brother while they were still in high school, Fessler said.

Many of the fire department’s personnel gathered at the fire station overnight to comfort the Gulleys, Boyer said. Three chaplains were made available to the family and firefighter for counseling, he said.

“It was a very difficult night,” Boyer said.

Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.