Independence firefighters to hold fundraiser for family killed in crash

INDEPENDENCE, Ky. -- Firefighters who responded to the crash that killed five family members say images of the scene are burned in their memory.

Rodney Pollitt Jr., 26; Samantha Malohn, 27; Hailieann Pollitt, 9; Brenden Pollitt, 8 and Callie Pollitt, 6, all died in the crash. The Independence fire chief said it was the worst single-vehicle loss of life they've ever had.

Now, less than a week after the fatal incident, Clint Green, president of the Independence Firefighters Union, said firefighters are planning a fundraiser to honor the family in the hopes that it will help the community and first responders heal.

Firefighter Kenny Harney said he felt an overwhelming sense of helplessness when he arrived at the scene shortly after the crash. 

“We typically win at what we do. You know, we typically always go out and we're able to help, I'd say the percentages are in our favor, but that particular run we … I feel like we lost you know, we lost because there was not a whole lot we could do,” Harney said.

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Because there was nothing he could do to save them, Harney said he jumped on the chance to help raise money the family.

“When you get a chance to kind of make a difference when you couldn't at that moment, I was presented with that opportunity, and I couldn't get on board fast enough,” Harney said.  

The fundraiser will take place at 6 p.m. on Nov. 18 at St. Barbara Church. Volunteers will auction off items to raise money for the family’s funeral expenses and to set up a scholarship fund for Grant County Schools. The scholarship will benefit children with Down syndrome in honor of 9-year-old Hailieann. Smokin’ This and That BBQ will provide food for the fundraiser; an $8 donation buys one plate of food.

If you’d like to donate, you can make a check out to Independence Firefighters Local 3945. You can mail the check to PO Box 564 Independence, Ky., or you can drop the check off at Independence Fire Station 1 at 1980 Delaware Crossing.

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