SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A woman is fighting to block the rehiring of a firefighter-EMT who fled the scene of a hit-and-run crash that resulted in the death of her son.
According to police, Ackerman was driving behind Peter Rauch, who was driving drunk and hit and killed Collier.
Police said Ackerman fled the scene and unplugged surveillance cameras at an athletic club where he was president to hide that Rauch was in the vehicle at the time of the crash.
“He didn’t do his job that night,” Purvis said. “He worried more about helping his friend than helping an 18-year-old left in the road … he does not deserve his job back.”
Purvis added that Ackerman could have been saving the life of Collier in the four minutes that it took for an ambulance to arrive on scene.
“He just left my son on the side of the road not knowing whether he was dead or alive,” she said.
City personnel director Robert Stamey said they have not changed their opinion about Ackerman’s firing since the decision was made.
“The city is defending and will work to continue to uphold its termination of Mr. Ackerman in 2017,” Stamey said. “Because the matter is in arbitration, the city is not in a position to say more at this time.”
A Syracuse Fire Fighters Association is providing a lawyer to Ackerman for the case, but stressed that it is only performing a legal obligation.
“The union is playing a role that it has to play with any and every member – that’s a duty to represent across the board equally,” FFA president Paul Motondo said. “Mr. Ackerman was a dues paying member and he’s entitled to fair representation.”