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Jonathan French, 25, one of 23 firefighters in the Glendale Fire Department, was killed early Wednesday morning when a firetruck was struck by tractor-trailer while responding to a vehicle fire at the 87-mile marker in the southbound lanes of Interstate 65. French, his mother, Lisa French, 43, and his uncle, Chief Richard Peters, were in the finishing stages of extinguishing a van fire around 3 a.m. when a tractor-trailer driven by John M. Hatton of Covington struck a fire truck.
Jonathan was pronounced dead at the scene and Lisa was aiflifted to University Hospital in Louisville. She was able to attend the visitation at the funeral home.
Jonathan’s funeral with full firefighter honors is at noon Monday at First Christian Church in Elizabethtown. Brother Doug Sanders is officiating. The church seats 950.
Visitation is from 3 to 8 p.m. today and continues at 9 a.m. Monday at the church.
The funeral will be a moving service, Hulsey said, with a last call, bag pipes, drum corps and Jonathan’s helmet will be passed to each member of Glendale’s department. Somewhere between 100 to 200 fire departments from across the state and from neighboring states are expected for the funeral procession, he said.
The procession to Sultzer Creek Cemetery begins between 2 and 3 p.m., Hulsey said, and will travel from the church south on North Miles Street to the U.S. 31W Bypass. The procession will continue to U.S. 31W to Ky. 222 in Glendale and pass the fire department. Those wishing to pay respect during the procession are encouraged to line the route on North Miles Street in Elizabethtown and Ky. 222 in Glendale.
A missing man formation will be in front of the fire station, Hulsey said.
Until French is laid to rest Monday, Hulsey said it is the job of the Hardin County Fire Chiefs Association and Supporting Heroes to make sure the family’s requests are met and to follow protocol.
“Jonathan French will not be left alone from here on out,” he said. “Someone will be with him round the clock from this point on until he is entombed.”