Marietta firefighter killed, 2 co-workers hurt after suspected DUI driver hits car

Marietta firefighter killed, 2 co-workers hurt after suspected DUI driver hits car

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Marietta firefighter Ron Herens was killed while on vacation in Los Angeles. (Credit: Marietta Police Department)
  • Story Highlights
  • Ron Herens was on vacation in California with four other firefighters from the Marietta Fire Department.
  • Herens was a passenger in the car.

An off-duty Marietta firefighter died and two co-workers were injured after a suspected DUI driver hit their car in Los Angeles, a police spokeswoman said.

Ron Herens, 23, was on vacation with four other firefighters from the Marietta Fire Department at the time of the deadly crash, which occurred about 10 p.m. Monday, Marietta police Officer Brittany Wallace said.

"Ron was a passenger in a car with two fellow firefighters when their car was struck,” she said.


Herens died, and Dillon Guest and Doug Blanchard were taken to UCLA Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, Wallace said.

The Associated Press reported that one of the surviving firefighters had broken bones and the other sustained deep cuts.

Los Angeles Police Department Officer Liliana Preciado told KTLA that Herens was ejected from the car. The crash happened at an intersection in the Venice area. 

During a Tuesday morning news conference outside station No. 51, Marietta fire Chief Jackie Gibbs said Herens was in the back seat and Guest was driving when they were “blindsided” by the driver.

“All the wind is knocked out of us right now,” he said.

Pictured left to right: Marietta firefighters Dillon Guest, Ron Herens and Doug Blanchard. (Credit: Marietta Police Department)

California officials said a third car was involved in the crash, but the couple in that vehicle were not hurt.

Witnesses said the suspected DUI driver ran a red light and was going an estimated 80 to 100 mph before the crash, NBC4 reported.

Herens had been with the Marietta department for four years, Gibbs said.

“Ron was always smiling and always had a twinkle in his eye,” he said.

Funeral arrangements have not been finalized.

Los Angeles officials provided a special escort for Herens’ body after the crash, Gibbs said.

“L.A. has gone above and beyond to help us,” he said.

Information about the driver was not released.

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