Late Boones Mill firefighter honored as WSLS and Red Cross “Good Samaritan Hero”

A local firefighter killed on his way to work is hailed as the WSLS and Red Cross Good Samaritan Hero.

Boones Mill firefighter, John Echternach, Jr., was hit by a tree during the June derecho as he tried to help a driver whose car was hit by another tree.

Since then, friends and strangers have given John's wife, Debbie, momentous and shared stories of how he has made a difference in his community whether it was through his work as a physical therapist, scouting or volunteering as a first responder, like the night of his accident.

“He was just an awesome, awesome person with just very, very high moral character and I just thank God I was blessed to know him as long as I did,” Debbie said.

Even now Debbie says, her husband is giving back as an organ donor.

Both of his kidneys have given two people here in Virginia new hope of a better life.

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