Firefighter in fatal crash sentenced to prison

From Local Sources


MONTGOMERY — A volunteer firefighter who ran over and killed another firefighter while responding to a call near Montgomery in November 2017 was sentenced to almost six years in prison Wednesday.

Colby N. Blake, 27, Cannelburg, pleaded guilty May 20 to a Level 5 felony count of causing death when operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. He was handed a 2,160-day sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction during a hearing Wednesday in Daviess Superior Court.

Kendall J. Murphy, 27, of Montgomery, was pronounced dead at the scene of a Nov. 10, 2017, crash southeast of Montgomery that was reported at 9:55 p.m. Murphy worked as a personal insurance agent out of German American Bank’s main office in Jasper and was a member of the Montgomery Volunteer Fire Department.

The fatal accident occurred along Old Highway 50 (Daviess County Road 100S), just west of Daviess County Road 800E. Deputies from the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department and three firefighters from the Montgomery and Cannelburg fire departments had arrived at the scene, police said.

Murphy and the two other firefighters had arrived in their personal vehicles.

Blake, the fourth responding firefighter, was traveling east in his 2006 Dodge Ram truck, police said. While approaching the scene, Blake, a member of the Cannelburg Volunteer Fire Department, struck the rear of another Dodge Ram truck parked by a firefighter along the south side of the road. Blake’s Dodge continued east, striking the 2013 Ford Fusion parked near Murphy, who was standing outside of his Ford truck. Police said Kendall was struck by Blake’s Dodge as it continued east.

Blake’s truck then crashed into a third firefighter’s vehicle, a 2007 Ford F350 truck, before stopping.

Authorities said Murphy suffered numerous injuries after being struck and was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Daviess County Coroner.

Blake was uninjured in the crash; however, after further investigation, was found to be operating while intoxicated with a blood alcohol level of .21%.

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