City firefighter dies in crash

New Albany Fire Department members say that fellow firefighter Benjamin Israel Brown, who died last week, will be sorely missed.

“Men like Ben don’t come around everyday,”  said Mark Whiteside, assistant chief for New Albany Fire and Rescue.  “He was a good person with a smile on his face each time he was seen.  He will be missed.”

Brown, 30, of Pontotoc, was killed last Thursday during a one-vehicle motorcycle crash.

According to a spokesperson with the Mississippi Highway Patrol, Brown was riding his motorcycle around 6 p.m., just west of Aviation Lane on Highway 336 in Pontotoc County, when the motorcycle left the road.

The spokesperson said that Brown was wearing a helmet at the time.

The accident remains under investigation.

Steve Coker, the newly-appointed New Albany Fire Department chief said that Brown was a good firefighter and a great person.

Brown was assigned to the fire department’s B shift at Station 1 on Cleveland Street.  Whiteside said he had been a member of the department since March 2009.

“He was a also member of the New Albany Firefighter Combat Challenge team, and was a valued member of the department,” Whiteside said.

Brown was a 1998 graduate of South Pontotoc High School and a 2009 graduate of the Mississippi State Fire Academy, where he was class valedictorian. 

Besides being employed with New Albany’s fire department, Brown also served as a volunteer firefighter for Pontotoc.He had just been accepted into the paramedic program at Itawamba Community College. 

 Funeral services for Brown were held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Browning Funeral Home Chapel. He was buried in the Laodicea Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery.