Mississippi firefighter who escaped death in motorcycle crash dies of COVID
GULFPORT, Miss. (BIKER DAD)– Gulfport firefighter Mark Hilley spent weeks in the hospital after a crash in 2019 that nearly killed him. He and his daughter were both injured in that crash. “I didn’t see God but I believe he talked to me, in my mind and in my heart, I believe he did,” Hilley told the local newspaper at the time, “He didn’t say the typical thing ‘I’m not done with you, You have more life to live.’ He said ‘Get up, you have a family to take care of.’ That is life-changing.”
The newspaper reports he suffered a collapsed lung, nine broken ribs, lacerated kidney, damage to his liver and spleen and broken wrist. He gave up riding, but lived to tell about it.
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Although he survived the crash, 2 years later he did not survive his fight with COVID-19. Hilley, 53, died Monday night at Memorial Hospital at Gulfport.
“HCFR lost great man,” Harrison County Fire Rescue said in a tribute. “Mark Hilley is the epitome of a firefighter’s firefighter.”
Hilley was also a U.S. Marine and paramedic the newspaper reported.
“Tonight we at the Gulfport Fire Department lost a brother- District Chief Mark Hilley to COVID 19,” the department posted on Facebook. “Please keep Marks’ family in your prayers as they try to get through this tragedy. I couldn’t have been prouder to see 70+ members of the Gulfport Fire Department, Harrison County Fire Services, Gulfport Police, Harrison County Sheriff’s department, and other agencies as well, escort Mark and his family from Memorial Hospital to Riemann’s Funeral home on half an hour’s notice. Please keep the Hilley family and his extended family in the fire and emergency services in your prayers as we grieve the loss of a tremendous public servant, our brother, a son, a father, and a husband.: