by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:
MONROE, N.C. - Family and friends are mourning a South Carolina EMT killed on the job.
Belinda "Gale" Rivers, 43, died Tuesday morning when the ambulance she was in collided with a tractor-trailer near CMC-Union on Highway 74 in Monroe.
Rivers worked for Sandhills Ambulance Service in Cheraw, S.C. for several years. Tuesday evening her co-workers told Eyewitness News they had been flooded with phone calls and words of support.
"It's hard, we are all having a hard time, it's gonna take a while to get over this," said the owner, Meg Norton.
Rivers was the passenger in the ambulance, driven by her fellow EMT, Jonathan Cory Brown. Police said the two had dropped off a patient at CMC and were leaving Bojangles when they struck the tractor-trailer.
Rivers was thrown from the ambulance and pinned underneath. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Brown was taken to
CMC-Main with injuries and was treated and released Tuesday night.
The driver of the semi was not hurt.
Rivers' co-workers remembered her as someone dedicated to her job with a passion, and with a ready smile for those she treated.
"She died in the line of duty...she was out doing a job that not many people can do, that few are called to do," said EMT Coty Gainey.
Rivers loved to sew, and was a mother and doting grandmother, according to friends.
"She's not going to be replaced. She will be greatly missed," Norton said.
Police are still investigating who was at fault and did not say if any charges would be filed.