18-Year-Old Volunteer Firefighter Killed In Crash One Week Before Graduation

A crash in Lumberton on Friday, June 5 claimed the life of an 18-year-old volunteer firefighter, who died of the personal injuries he sustained in the crash while answering a fire call.

Pembroke resident Matthew Douglas Tramel was traveling east shortly before 1 a.m. when his 2007 Nissan ran off Deep Branch Road and collided with a tree, according to North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Alan Humphrey.

Tramel, who was a senior at Purnell Swett High School, was a member of the Pembroke Fire Department for two months. In April, he joined the department as a junior member and had been a member of the Pembroke Rescue Squad for four months.

Tramel, whose death came a week before he would have graduated, was responding to a call regarding a vehicular fire in the Strickland Heights housing development, according to Pembroke Fire Chief McDuffie Cummings Jr.

Humphrey said that at the time of the crash, Tramel was traveling at approximately 65 mph in a 55 mph zone and was not wearing his seat belt.

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