Hundreds gather to remember Atlanta firefighter

by: Richard Elliot Updated:

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ATLANTA —

Hundreds gathered Thursday afternoon to pay their final respects to an Atlanta firefighter killed while training for a triathlon.

Sgt. Frank Guinn died in New Orleans last week when he was struck and killed by a car as he rode his bicycle as part of his training for an Ironman triathlon.

Firefighters, friends and law enforcement gathered at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Buckhead for Guinn's funeral.  As a Fire Department honor guard escorted his casket into the church, Guinn's 7-year-old triplet daughters saluted their father.

"The girls are OK, as best as can be expected," said Guinn's Widow Kimberly Guinn.  Guinn wanted to talk to Channel 2 Action News shortly before the funeral so she could tell people about her husband.

"He was always willing to lend a hand," said Guinn.  "He was always ready to help out.  He had a servant's heart.  He liked to rescue.  He was very good at being under pressure.  It's that servant's heart that I loved so much."

New Orleans police have charged Howard Vidrine in the accident.  Investigators said he was driving on a suspended license.

"At first, I wasn't angry," said Guinn. "At first, I was told it was just distracted driving. Then I found out he wasn't even supposed to be driving.  But that moment is the moment I got angry.  That's the moment I said, 'Are you kidding me?'  He wasn't even supposed to be on the road."

Guinn's brother in law, Andrew Powell, was also critically injured in the accident.

Guinn said in time she will be able to forgive Vidrine for what happened.

"I'm going to forgive him because forgiveness is not for the person you are forgiving.  Forgiveness is for yourself," said Guinn. “If you keep that anger and hate in your heart all the time, you are not going to be able to function."