Remembering a fallen paramedic

DELAWARE CITY, Del. - December 23, 2008 - But Delaware State Police aren't stopping there. They've got another suspect to catch.

Michelle Smith was struck by a hit-and run driver on Saturday night. Smith was helping a critically injured motorcyclist when a BMW struck a police car, then hit Smith and the motorcyclist.

The driver of the striking vehicle jumped into another car and sped away. On Monday night that driver, 28-year-old Joseph Tay was arrested in Bear.

"We got paged last night saying he had been apprehended and was being charged," said Ed Kalinowski of the Delaware City Fire Company. "I think that made a lot of people very happy. I hope he gets his just desserts."

The driver of the second car remains at large.

Smith volunteered to make the ambulance run Satruday night.

"She was a major asset to this company and terribly fun to be with, so I will never forget her," said Dave Carpenter, Jr. of the Delaware City Fire Company. "She'll be extremely missed, especially by her 12-year-old daughter.

The family of firefighters in Delaware City will help care for the girl for now. Donations to help them out can be sent to:

The Emily Burge Trust Fund
c/o Delaware City Fire Company
P.O. Box 251
Delaware City, Del. 19706

This is the first time in the 120 year history of the Delaware City Fire Company that a volunteer has died in the line of duty. First responders everywhere say its the way Michelle Smith was killed that hurts the most.

"It was an emergency services worker who was volunteering that night, and the emergency worker who was on the scene and now has died wasn't even a paid employee," said Cpl. Jeffrey Whitemarsh of the Delaware State Police. "She had sacrificed her own time and sacrificed that Saturday night to be out there to servce the public."

Funeral arrangements for Michelle Smith are still pending.

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