WAREHAM (CBS) – A Sandwich man is under arrest, accused of hitting and seriously injuring an Onset firefighter and taking off. The firefighter was hit on Route 6 during the nor’easter last week and plenty of fellow firefighters came to support him during the suspect’s court appearance.
One set of gear is now missing from the Onset firehouse and the chief feels it. “Well it’s disturbing to me because it’s like one of my children,” said Chief Ray Goodwin.
He’s talking about 25-year-old Marc Granato, a part-time firefighter who just graduated from Mass Maritime — mowed down by a hit and run driver at a Wareham intersection on Friday night.
“I was unsure if he was going to survive,” Chief Goodwin said.
Storm winds had blown sheet metal from a building onto Route 6 and firefighters were helping to clear it when police say 28-year-old Paul Durgin drove right through the middle of the flashing lights and slammed into the fireman.
“My opinion is that the head injury would have been fatal if he did not have his helmet on,” Goodwin said.
Police say Durgin took off and was on the lam all weekend.
Witnesses got a pretty good look at the car. But it was leads that came in through the Wareham Police Department’s “Text-A-Tip” app that pointed them to the Knights Inn in Centerville.
There, police found the damaged Subaru hatchback parked in front of room 7 and eventually arrested Durgin who was held on $125,000 bond Monday afternoon — charged with assault and battery, leaving the scene, and reckless operation.
“I’m happy that the court is taking this very seriously and hopefully this won’t happen to somebody else,” Goodwin said.
The victim’s co-workers made a strong court showing and most visited their buddy Monday at Rhode Island Hospital where Granato is recovering from surgery on his shattered leg — and joking around.
“That made us all feel very good that he was on the road to recovery,” Goodwin said.
His boss thinks he’ll be in the hospital for another week or so but will eventually wear the uniform again.