17-year-old Ryan Flowers was a volunteer for the Kinard Fire Department. But on Tuesday morning his truck collided with a semi near the intersection of State Road 71 and County Highway 392. Those who knew Flowers well say he had a bright future ahead of him.
The sound of a fire truck siren usually means there's an emergency. But Saturday that siren is honoring a friend and fellow firefighter 17-year-old Ryan Fflowers. Four days after his fatal accident, friends and other firefighters are still in shock of the loss.
His best friend and fellow firefighter Jacob O'Bryan looked back on the sad events of the past week. "My weekends won't consist of me and him riding 4-wheelers or going on calls. It will just be the memories we had together."
Flowers was working as a volunteer firefighter for the Kinard Fire Department while he went to Blountstown High School. Fire Chief Doyle Daniels was one of the first to answer the accident alert last Tuesday morning. "Once we got on scene and recognized the truck, then we recognized it was one of our own. That is probably the greatest nightmare of any department."
Now the Kinard Department along with other fire departments, Emergency Management Services, and law enforcement agencies are remembering one of their own. "Hoping to be in disbelief and then once we got here it really set in. The loss of a brother."
Those who knew Flowers say one thing stood out about him. Chief Daniels with Kinard Fire Dept. recalls Flowers: "Kind of had a little grin about him that would just bust your heart. He was just a super all-around good man."
Another friend and volunteer for the Kinard Fire Dept. remembers another common trait of Flowers: “Most definitely his smile. You cut a joke at him and he just cut an old sly smile and just let it roll off his back."
Along with memories and his smile, a poem in the funeral program that Flowers wrote will be another way he'll be remembered.
Flowers recently won a local and state leadership competition to represent north Florida. He was scheduled to compete at the national level next month in Washington D.C.