The Latest: Firefighter's body is brought home to California
Aug. 07, 2017
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the body of a California firefighter who died in Montana being returned home (all times local):
The body of a California firefighter who was killed while fighting a fire in Montana has been returned home.
A Forest Service aircraft brought the body of 29-year-old Brent Witham to an air tanker base in San Bernardino, where a large contingent of fellow firefighters saluted Monday afternoon.
A procession of vehicles accompanied the hearse on a procession to a Colton mortuary.
The Mentone resident died Aug. 2 when he was struck by a falling tree while fighting a fire in the Lolo National Forest.
Witham was employed by the San Bernardino National Forest as a member of the Vista Grande Hotshots.
A memorial service is scheduled for Thursday.
Hundreds of firefighters from across the country attended a ceremony at a Montana airport during which the body of 29-year-old California Hot Shot Brent Witham was loaded onto a U.S. Forest Service Sherpa plane to be returned to California.
Witham, of Mentone, California, died on August 2 when he was struck by a falling tree while fighting the Lolo Peak Fire in western Montana.
A funeral procession led by Montana Highway Patrol cruisers followed Witham's body from the funeral home to the Missoula Aerial Fire Depot. The procession passed through a corridor Hotshot crew trucks with their signal lights flashing.
A bagpipe trio played "Amazing Grace" as pallbearers loaded his flag-draped casket into the rear cargo door of the airplane.
The body of a 29-year-old California firefighter who died in western Montana last week will be transported to the Missoula airport in a procession Monday morning.
Hotshot Brent Witham of Mentone, California, died on Aug. 2 when he was struck by a falling tree while fighting the Lolo Peak fire in the Lolo National Forest.
The procession begins at the Garden City Funeral Home at 9 a.m. Monday. The public is asked to line Broadway between the funeral home and the Reserve Street overpass by 8:30 a.m.
Memorial services will be held in California.
His was the second firefighter death in Montana in less than two weeks. Trenton Johnson of Missoula died on July 19 when a dead tree fell and hit him near Seeley Lake. He was 19.