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Joe Howard, a well-known paramedic with Emergency Medical Services in Paris, was fatally injured Sunday morning when a van pulled in front of him on Loop 286 as he rode on his motorcycle to attend a WWII motorcycle event.
Police dispatchers received a 9-1-1 call at 8:50 a.m. Sunday of an accident with injuries at the intersection of FM 1497 and South Loop 286, Police Chief Bob Hundley said.
“Officers first on the scene found that a motorcycle had been in collision with a passenger van and found the motorcycle operator not breathing,” Hundley said.
Preliminary investigation indicates Howard was eastbound on the loop on his 2013 Yamaha motorcycle, and a 2004 Dodge Caravan driven by Bettie Jarrett, 74, of 240 County Road 13685 was stopped at the south side of the intersection on FM 1497.
“The van pulled out into the intersection and was struck by the motorcycle,” Hundley said.
“Paris EMS arrived and continued treatment on one of their own — paramedic Joe Howard, 57, of Sumner,” Hundley said.
A Paris fire and rescue truck arrived and assisted with on-scene treatment and transport.
Howard was taken to the emergency room of Paris Regional Medical Center, where he died about 11 a.m. from his injuries, Hundley said.
The investigation is continuing, Hundley said.
Howard, 57, had been in EMS for almost 10 years and was the assistant supervisor on A-Shift.
“Joe loved his family and recently added to the long list of grandchildren whom he adored,” said a post Sunday on the City of Paris website.
Funeral services are pending at Bright-Holland Funeral Home in Paris.
Howard, who was born Aug. 24, 1956, lived with his wife, Cathy, in Sumner.
Messages quickly filled Howard’s Facebook page on Sunday. Some of those follow:
Johnny Williams: “Joe Howard was the best paramedic I’ve ever known. His passion for his work was contagious and showed in everyone he worked with. The consummate professional whose care and understanding of people, their problems, their injuries, etc., showed every day. Joe Howard was a good man. He will be missed. Please keep his family, both personal and EMS, in your prayers.
Carol Gordon Carroll: “Joe was one of the sweetest, kindest people I was ever blessed with knowing. My love and prayers are with his family & friends.”
Michael Malone: “He always inspired confidence when I saw him in action. He was a great person and I will miss him.”
Russell Thrasher: “We are taking volunteers on 24 Watch for Brother Joe Howard at Bright-Holland funeral home. Anyone wanting to help in uniform please message me. I promised Cathy we would not leave him alone until the funeral! Let me know if you can help!”
Melody Gibson Figueroa: “Such a somber day. Joe was an awesome man! As a paramedic, he took care of my family members on several occasions. Sure gonna miss his smile and positive outlook! Love ya “Joe Mama”…forever in my heart! Prayers for the Howard family and Paris emergency services family. — feeling bummed.”
Alice Pinalto: “So sorry. What a great loss to his family and our community.”
Darla Igo Barnett: “Joey always had a smile, and on the few occasional times I worked with him in the ER, he always made me laugh. Prayers to your family.”
Lynn Patterson: “Joe was a good guy and friend. He will be missed.”
Brian Poppy Palmer: “Joe, life is way too short sometimes, brother. I’ll miss working those calls with you after so many years. I believe I speak for all our brothers at the Paris Fire Department when I say your absence will be felt and you are already sorely missed. I look forward to seeing you in Heaven one sweet day, my friend!”
Natalie Smith: “I’m going to miss you, man. All my years at the hospital and seeing y’all on a regular basis. Always happy, funny and cheerful. My heart hurts – you will be missed.”
Stephanie Janes: “Dad was very quiet this morning and finally he told me what happen. You are for sure in a much better place! What I loved about Joe Howard is he was always making everyone laugh and brighten up someone’s day! You have saved and touched a lot of lives, and you for sure will not be forgotten. City of Paris EMS family loved you and your family! Can’t wait till we see you again!! RIP Joe Howard.”
Lisa Ruth Roberts: “RIP Joe Howard, I’ll miss you! You always made me laugh!”
Barbara Armistead: “Gonna miss you Joe! Prayers to the family. God needed you in heaven.”
Derald Bulls: “Praying for all this special family. Joey is a lifetime friend from our Culbertson Park/Neathery Street days. I loved we called each other ‘cuz.’ Blessed to call him friend.”
Cricket Eagle: “I love you more than you’ll ever know my big brother. I love you so much and really wish I could have another big hug from you.
Magean Wharton Tuttle Pretre: “Today Paris EMS lost a great guy, Joe Howard. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Cathy and his family. Always had a smile on his face. Joe always took the time to show me what to do in the ambulance and on scene. He even made sure the first responders were OK if it was a bad call. He will be missed, but Joe is up there above us watching over us now.”
Amber Howard Maynard: “Leaving (Paris Regional Medical Center) with lights. Thanks to everyone for all the thoughts and prayers for our family. All the support is amazing. Thanks to everyone … ER and EMS personnel were amazing!”
Geney Simmons: “Amber, soooo sorry you lost your dad. We are praying for you and family. He was such a happy man and a great one, too. May God give ya strength & peace through all of this. God Bless.”
Brandon Jones: “My prayers go out to y’all. Hope God comforts you in your time of loss. Love y’all.”
Kay Clay Jimmy Satcher:”we are so sorry for your loss. Joe was like a son to us since we had known him since he was a teenager. We never saw him that he wasn’t smiling, and he was always so good to Jimmy. He was truly a wonderful friend, father, brother, and grandfather. He will be missed.”
Connie Shoemate: “Kathy, we are so sorry for your loss and Chris’ loss and EMS’ loss. He was one in a million and so loved!!!”
Lisa Jesse Hampton: “I am so sorry for y’all’s loss, Joe was indeed a true friend and a great paramedic.”
Mike Boaz: “Several years ago, my wife found me at home unconscious and toxic from a brown recluse spider bite. I was taken to the South ER. No one in the ER could get an IV started. They called a Paramedic in to see if they could try. I was literally on my death bed. My good friend Joe Howard with Paris EMS got it on the first stick. He was an amazing man, paramedic and friend. My heart hurts today for his loss. Thank you for all you did for me, Joe. God bless you and your family. — Feeling blue at Paris EMS Eastside.”
Nancy Roosevelt Stallings: “Awesome man. Will miss him.”
Louella Moore: “Oh no! I’m at a loss for words. He was my friend.”
Terri Palmer: “Such a sad day in Paris, Texas. He was a good, true honorable man!”
Sandra Offut: “Praying for the family. We went to church with him and his wife. Wonderful people.”
Sam Owens: “Mike. If you can, please pass along that I will be praying for the family and friends at EMS.”
Melissa Jones: “So sorry to hear about him passing away.. He was such a good man. R.I.P Joe Howard.”
Kevin Cannon: “He will truly be missed! He was a great friend to everyone!”
Wesley Tallant: “Joe was one of the paramedics that carried me to Dallas VA emergency room last year with chest pains. I will miss him.”
Mystic Smith: “RIP, Sir. He helped me when my dad had a heart attack. Such a caring soul. Bless his family.”
Jonathan M. Frakes:”It is with a heavy heart that I have to say Paris Ems has lost a great paramedic this morning. He was one of my favorite people to run calls with during EMT school. RIP Joe Howard. Prayers and thoughts go out to him and his family!”
Linda Naill Erwin: “We will miss you, friend and neighbor.”
Doug Garnett: “This morning saw the light in each of us diminish with the loss of good, brave man. Joe touched so many lives from strangers to those who served with him, trained with him and laughed with him. Our hearts are sick and empty this day.”
Chris Shoemate: “My heart hurts today. It is a sad day for Paris EMS. My partner for the past five years was involved in a motorcycle accident and lost his life. Please keep the family of Joe Howard in your thoughts and prayers.”
Edward Handley: PVFD will miss him too. I will miss him. He has touched many lives. Prayers for all.”
Dustin Leonard: “Thanks for all you taught me during my paramedic clinicals. We lost a good one this morning. Prayers to the family.”
Carrie Piper-Massey: “Praying for this sweet family! Such a tragic loss! A great man will be deeply missed! Praying for the Paris EMS family as well!”
By Charles Richards, eParisExtra