HANCOCK COUNTY, Ind. – An entire community is in mourning after an Indianapolis Fire Department recruit lost his life in a crash.
Authorities say 26 year old David Short II died after he was hit head-on while driving along Mt. Comfort road in Hancock County.
"My son was a good man. He was a good friend. He was a good boyfriend. He was a good employee and it leaves a hole for a lot of people; not just family," David's father Dave Short said.
At a young age David Short II was fascinated with becoming a firefighter.
"There are a lot of people that want to be firefighters. You can’t say I want to be a firefighter and they are going to put you on the department," David's mom Teresa Short said.
David’s family says he was determined, had a strong work ethic, and had the will to help others.
"In the winter time cars would get stuck out in the snow and he would take the shovel from the garage and shovel their tires to get them out," David's sister Rachel Short said.
After trying three times; David's dream became a reality. He became a recruit firefighter with the Indianapolis Fire Department; a member of class 84.
"He saw the fire department as a chance to serve and he had such a service heart," Rachel Short said.
David had achieved a milestone, but tragically he lost his life in a deadly wreck.
"He was going to be an awesome fireman, you can bet on that," Dave Short said.
Authorities say David and his girlfriend were traveling northbound on Mt. Comfort road when a crash happened ahead of them; forcing one of the trucks into David's path.
He passed away from his injuries at the hospital. His girlfriend suffered minor injuries.
"I’ve always heard that it is terrible to lose a child and I never doubted that. I’ve had a lot of loses in my life and I never lost a child. Obviously, I ache for people who have loss their children I certainly never wanted to lose one of mine either," Teresa Short said.
David’s father says his son had the “it factor”.
David will be missed by so many people, but his mom says they are grateful for the years they had with him.
"David loved all people and love is the most important thing from the beginning to the end. I think if anyone can take anything from this to honor David it would be to love people," Teresa Short said.
“David left us too soon, but he left having achieved the one milestone he wanted more than anything else in the world, and that was to be an IFD Firefighter. His energy and smile will be missed,” said Battalion Chief Rita Reith of the Indianapolis Fire Department.
David's former employer Jockamo’s Upper Crust Pizza in Irvington, also expressed their grief over the loss of Short.
"For those few on the eastside of Indianapolis and beyond that had not yet met David Short, know that without hyperbole, we as a community have lost a future leader and current start amongst us. David matured over his 8 years at Jockamo into the embodiment of Irvington's tight knit community. David's attention to people's interests and helpful, yet honest, nature endeared him to a large number of people that all felt close to him quickly and only intensifies our collective feeling of loss. David recently left Jockamo to pursue a career in the IFD where he found another way to help and interact with the public, which surprised no one on our staff. We are all in mourning for our community's tragic loss and hope to honor David by continuing to aid the same community he did, albeit without one of its key members."