Life of Kendall Murphy remembered

The life of a Daviess County, Indiana volunteer firefighter is being remembered today, several days after he was killed responding to an emergency.

Kendall Murphy died late Friday night after he was hit by a car driven by Colby Blake, another volunteer firefighter.

It happened on Old Highway 50 just outside Montgomery when Blake hit Murphy and three vehicles while responding to a crash. Blake was arraigned this morning on charges of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death and reckless driving.

Here at the Montgomery Volunteer Fire Department, an In Memoriam flag hangs in honor of Kendall Murphy. Those who knew him continue to remember him and what he meant to this community days after his death.

"We're such a tight knit community that whenever someone passes, it not only affects the family, but it affects everyone around us," says Josh Swartzentruber, who was one of Murphy's friends since childhood.

"I'd go to Kendall's house all the time. We'd go to church together, school together," he recalled.

They coached basketball together at Barr-Reeve Community Schools. He talked with Kendall about the upcoming season the day he died. For Josh, Kendall's death shook Murphy's family, and him, to his core.

"I just kind of fell down on my living room floor and just cried," Swartzentruber says.

Murphy graduated from Barr-Reeve high school in 2009, and played basketball for coach Bryan Hughes, and returned as an assistant coach after graduating college. It was one way he gave back to his hometown.

"It was his desire to come back here and ever since he's been back from college, he's poured himself in to helping out and his time," Hughes says.

Murphy's visitation started Monday afternoon at Providence Mennonite Church.  Those who knew him say he'll be remembered for how he gave back to his community and others.

"I will remember Kendall, honestly, as one of the kindest men I've ever known. It didn't matter where Kendall was, if you needed Kendall, he was there at the drop of a dime," says Swartzentruber.

Hughes says the school is looking at ways to honor Murphy. Funeral services are scheduled for tomorrow morning at 11:00 AM EST at Simon J. Graber Complex.

For the latest breaking news and stories from across the Tri-State, follow Eyewitness News on Facebook and Twitter.

(This story was originally published on Nov. 13, 2017)


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