COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Loved ones have gathered to remember a Marietta firefighter killed while on vacation.
Marietta Fire Chief Jackie Gibbs said Ron Herens, 23, and four other young firefighters, the class of 2013, were wrapping up a vacation trip when their rental car was rammed at an intersection.
The funeral for Herens began at 2 p.m. Wednesday at a Powder Springs church.
Hundreds of firefighters, friends and family members gathered to honor Herens' life and his service, and say goodbye.
“They were all belted in. All driving perfectly safely down the street and just blindsided," Gibbs said. “When Ron was moved from the accident scene, he was escorted by fire, police and coroners escort as his body was removed."
Gibbs said he will remember Herens' ever-present smile.
"His smile was a little mischievous. He was fun to be around, fun around the fire station and everybody here thought the world of Ron Herens," Gibbs said.
At the funeral, Gibbs began, "Herens was a very special young man to our fire department and anybody that knew him knows how special he was. He was taken far too soon from us."
Herens' mother, Cobi Keone, spoke with composure.
"Ron was somebody we were extremely proud of and the love and support we see here today makes us realize how many lives he has touched and it's heartwarming and comforting," she said.
Herens' girlfriend, Rosa Campos, said "He was my first boyfriend and I truly believed that we were made for each other and he was the one who my soul desired. I always dreamed of a man like him."
Friend Kurt Vermillion said, "Ron and I had this common goal that we tried to live by and talked about it several times. The goal was to simply try to be better than we were yesterday, whether that be in the weight room, on the fire ground or just being better for the people that mean the most to us in life."
Chief Gibbs said Herens was most proud to be a firefighter.
© 2020 Cox Media Group