My father, my husband, my brother and many of my family's closest friends have served, or are currently serving on the Cherry Valley Fire Department, so when I saw this headline on my, "Cherry Valley firefighter hit by van while directing traffic for Vets Roll" I immediately panicked and called my Dad.

When the news originally broke on Thursday, it only said a 63-year-old Cherry Valley Fire Lieutenant had been hit by a minivan while directing traffic for the Vets Roll convoy and that the firefighter was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.

That little bit of information had me panicking further because the likelihood that the injured firefighter was someone close to my family was even higher now.

My Dad, (who currently serves as a Fire Commissioner for the Cherry Valley Fire Protection District), told me that the injured firefighter was Lt. Neal Johnson and that he had sustained several broken ribs and two broken legs.

A press release from the Cherry Valley Fire Department has confirmed the news...

Although I am relieved to know that Lt. Johnson is in stable condition, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't furious that a situation like this occurred. Yes, I know there are two sides to every story. Yes, I know that the incident happened at 9:30 in the evening, but I don't care.

The driver of the minivan had to have seen and known that a Vets Roll caravan was happening, and should have been alert to the fact. Secondly, anyone who is ever directing traffic, day or night, is well "lit". So, I gotta believe the driver was distracted when they struck Lt. Johnson and that makes my blood boil.

To be fair, no authorities have gone on record saying the minivan's driver was distracted, but I'll be shocked if that is not what the investigation discovers.

I hope the investigation proves my hunch wrong, but until then...😠😠😠

Catch Lil Zim on ‘Q98.5 Mornings with Lil Zim & JB’ on Q98.5 from 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow her on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook


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