'He was doing what he loved to do:' Stanly County volunteer firefighter laid to rest

'He was doing what he loved to do:' Stanly County volunteer firefighter laid to rest

ALBEMARLE, N.C. — Family, friends and firefighters from across our area said a final goodbye to a 17-year-old volunteer firefighter who died Sunday while responding to a call.

The funeral for Dakota Snavely honored his service and the ultimate sacrifice he made while trying to help others.

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Dozens of mourners gathered at Anderson Grove Baptist Church in Albemarle Saturday to remember and honor Snavely, who was killed when he crashed into a semitrailer.

State troopers said Snavely was driving out of Oakboro on U.S. 205 when a semitrailer carrying live chickens crossed over the line and overturned. Officials said Snavely crashed into the truck and died at the scene.

“He was young, taken away so soon, but he was doing what he loved to do and that's helping others,” Charlotte firefighter Jackie Gilmore said.

Matthew Arrington, the driver of the semitrailer, has been charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

“All of us feel the effects. We're all grieving,” said Gilmore. “We're all brothers and sisters in the fire service. So when you have someone in the fire service that loses their life, it affects the entire community.”

As bagpipes played, firefighters in uniform stood solemnly and saluted Snavely's casket.

“Every line of duty, death is gonna be hard, whether it's from a large department to a small department,” Gilmore said. “It’s gonna affect this department more because it is a smaller department.”

Pallbearers lifted the casket onto the back of a firetruck for the final ride to his final resting place.