The head of a small Minnesota city's ambulance crew was fatally hit by a dump truck while riding his bicycle in town, bringing members of his own crew to his aid at a downtown intersection.
Thomas A. Webster, 51, president of the ambulance service in Gaylord, was struck shortly before 3 p.m. Friday by the truck near a road construction zone, and died later that afternoon, Mayor Don Boeder said Sunday.
"It's tough," said Boeder, the mayor of the city of roughly 2,300 about 60 miles southwest of Minneapolis, "especially in this size of a town, where everyone knows everyone."
Police Chief Tony Padilla said Webster served as a police officer for the Sibley County city from 1996 until he retired in 2013.
"Webster was an outstanding member of our community and always put everyone else first," Padilla said. "He will be greatly missed."
Webster was riding his bike north on 6th Street and approaching the intersection with High Avenue, when "contact was made" with the truck, Padilla said in a statement. The truck then turned right onto High and stopped a block later.
The truck driver was identified as Edgar Maldonado, of Glencoe, Minn., Padilla said. Maldonado was not injured, and alcohol was not a factor in the crash, the chief said.
Webster was rushed to a hospital in nearby Arlington and was being transferred to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale when he died, police said.
The truck belongs to a contractor who is assisting with road construction near where the collision occurred, the mayor said.
Members of Webster's own ambulance crew responded to the crash, Boeder said. Its membership includes Webster's fiancée, Casey Jean Just. Boeder said Just was not among those on duty at the time.
"They were supposed to be married in January," said the mayor, who did emergency medical technician training with Webster many years ago and worked with him on the ambulance service.