PRATT, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) — The Kanawha Valley is in mourning this Easter weekend as it remembers a fallen hero.
Friends, family members, and fellow first responders said their final farewells to Pratt Assistant Fire Chief Michael Edwards Saturday, one week after he was killed in the line of duty.
Hundreds of people from across the Tri-State came to show their support for the Pratt community.
Edwards was a 25-year firefighting veteran and was tragically killed in a crash last week. He and four other firefighters were on the way to a triple fatal crash on I-77 when their fire truck slid off the road and crashed into a rock face. Lt. Thomas “Tom” Craigo was also killed in the crash.
Edwards’ funeral was held at Riverside High School Saturday and a procession of first responders followed to honor him.
Nearly 2,500 people and more than 50 fire trucks and other first responder vehicles took part in funeral and procession for Edwards.
After the funeral was over, bagpipes were played and Edwards’ casket was loaded into a Pratt fire truck and members of the department rode alongside their fallen partner.
The procession was about 2 miles and went from Riverside High School to Montgomery, but the Pratt fire truck carrying Edwards took a detour to pass the Pratt Volunteer Fire Department and then rejoined the procession.
A department from the Eastern Panhandle traveled four hours to come show their support and pay respects to Edwards and his family.
Pratt Deputy Fire Chief Rod Johnson said the department is overwhelmed by the support and that this the first of two funerals.
Craigo’s viewing is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, April 2, at Riverside High School. A funeral service is scheduled 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, at Riverside High School. The procession to the cemetery is still to be determined.