Local First Responder Killed In Motorcycle, Tractor Crash

June 22, 2012

A first responder was killed in a traffic accident Thursday afternoon south of Jay.

Nathan L. Berry, age 22 of Flomaton, died as a result of the 3:21 p.m. crash on Highway 89 north of Pineview Church Road.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Berry was northbound on a 2001 Yamaha motorcycle when he struck the left rear wheel of a mower implement attached to a 2005 John Deere tractor. The tractor, driven by 45-year old Grady Lane Faris of Brewton, was also northbound on Highway 89, partially on the paved side of the roadway and partially in the northbound travel lane.

Berry was transported from the scene to by AirHeart helicopter to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola where he later died. Berry was wearing a helmet, according to the crash report.

Charges against Faris are pending the outcome of an investigation, according to the FHP.

Berry, a certified firefighter and paramedic, dedicated his life to serving the public in emergency services. He was a former employee of Atmore Ambulance and was currently a supervisor for Lifeguard EMS in Santa Rosa County. He was a volunteer member of the Friendship Volunteer Fire Department near Flomaton, and was a firefighter for Escambia County Fire Rescue’s Century Station.

Friends said Berry was returning home after an working an EMS shift. He is survived by his wife, the former Tiffany Hanks of Bratt, a 14-month old daughter and has another child due in September.


38 Responses to “Local First Responder Killed In Motorcycle, Tractor Crash”

  1. Kayla Daughtery on June 26th, 2012 12:51 am

    He was a great friend ! He will be a greatly missed… Prayers going up for friends and family we love yall.

  2. Tori Davis on June 25th, 2012 3:09 pm

    Yalls family will be in my prayers !

  3. FireEMT0820 on June 24th, 2012 5:34 pm

    Worked shift with Nathan Wednesday night and sat in class with him on Thursday. Tough shift Thursday night waiting to hear Nathan on the radio. Every time 600 keyed up I choked up. Go easy brother and God look after your young family.

  4. Britt on June 24th, 2012 12:13 am

    Two days later & it still seems unreal. Nathan was my cousin. As a kid he was such a sweetheart. He was kind, tender hearted, & easygoing. I hadn’t got to see him much in the last few years. The last time I saw him, he walked up & gave me a big hug! Such a sweetie! My heart breaks for his wife, parents & siblings. I pray God wraps his arms of love around them & comforts them like only he can. I love y’all!

  5. Gerald Ward on June 23rd, 2012 11:09 pm

    I have worked with Nathan for the past two years and during that time he taught me as much as I taught him. He was a Paramedic and Firefighter that truly cared about the communities that he served. He was a man that worked to take care of his wife and daughter was was looking forward to the birth of his son in September. Tiffany, my heart and prayers goes out to you and your family. May God wrap his arms around you during this time of sorrow. R.I.P. Nathan Lee Berry, you will surely be missed and never forgotten!!!!

  6. cmw on June 23rd, 2012 10:30 pm

    Hate to hear about these tragic accidents. Sounds like he was an outstanding young man. Prayers for his family.

  7. JustMe on June 23rd, 2012 12:26 pm

    Not trying to take subject off the loss of one of my good friends but I have noticed ever since share the roads signs have gone up, tractors have gotten the thought process that they can do and drive how and where they want without safety in mind for motorist. I am in no way saying this is the case here im just throwing it out there because i have noticed it alot! I believe all of the width limits still apply to tractors on state roads so maybe that is the charge pending. God bless you tiffany and your families. Such a tragic loss but i know he is in a far better place.

  8. 06FLSTCI on June 23rd, 2012 9:53 am

    I darn near rear ended a farm implement a few years ago on 197. I was on my motorcycle coming home @ dusk when I came around a curve he was in the road with no lights on. Lucky for me I saw him, scared the crap out of me. Also almost hit a few deers in that part of the country. God Bless, Ride Safe and Be Carefull.

  9. Tammara Davis on June 23rd, 2012 9:18 am

    The line of the song comes to mind “when one has a heartache we all shed a tear and rejoice in each victory in this family so dear” . God’s people all across the nation are feeling your loss and lifting your need up to heaven. May God wrap his arms around you and give you strength during this time.

  10. Jay Native and Friend on June 22nd, 2012 11:36 pm

    This was located in a heavy farmed area. Signs mark the importance of tractors being on the rode and the need to be attentive to that. A tractor driving in the correct lane of traffic is neither impeding the flow of traffic nor obstructing the right of way.

  11. John on June 22nd, 2012 11:20 pm

    Obstruction of right of way or impeding the flow of traffic

  12. MicheleG on June 22nd, 2012 8:31 pm

    Sorry for the loss. Prayers for both families. I have just one question, how can there be possible charges? If Mr Farish was hit from behind then how is he at fault?

  13. BeckyandGin on June 22nd, 2012 7:45 pm

    Nathan was a good friend and will be greatly missed! Our thoughts and prayers are with the family!

  14. Kayla on June 22nd, 2012 7:32 pm

    I reach out to the ones that are suffering from the lost of a great person. From what few times I saw Nathan, he was always a geat, happy, out going person. He will be missed greatly. Prayers go out to the family and especially his wife and children.

  15. hmmm on June 22nd, 2012 7:20 pm

    It really makes you stop and think when you lose someone like this. Nate was such a sweet guy and will be greatly missed by so many people. Fly high Nate and watch over all of us down here.

  16. local on June 22nd, 2012 6:31 pm

    I don’t know any of the people involved, but it sounds like heaven is welcoming a great person. Prayers going out to the Berry family.

    I also wish to send prayers to the Faris family. This is a tragedy to them as well. I hope this is something that will be ruled an accident as I’m sure Mr. Faris is suffering just as much.

  17. QLW on June 22nd, 2012 5:45 pm

    Nate was a great brother in law will be greatly missed. Words can’t describe the hurt. Sending up lots of prayers for Tiffany and the rest of our family. Knowing that they’ll need it to get through. R.I.P. Nathan Lee Berry

  18. ur sis on June 22nd, 2012 5:26 pm


  19. Faye Hubbard on June 22nd, 2012 4:07 pm

    To the families of Nathan and Tiffany,
    Just know that when a member of Public Safety goes to Glory, They are in good company. These Men and Wemen dedicate their lives to public service and we just know that God rewards that.
    Our memories sustain us and our Faith gives us strength.
    My Prayers are with you

  20. Redman on June 22nd, 2012 3:55 pm

    Here today …..gone tomorrow.This is a tragedy .It makes you stop and think…you never know whats around the next curve in this life.My heart goes out to the family.We all have a strong tendency to take life and each other.This is a heart breaking reminder that our lives could be rearranged by events like this at anytime.LOVE EACH OTHER WHILE YOU HAVE EACH OTHER….ITS THE WAY GOD WOULD HAVE IT.

  21. Mrs. Hollingsworth on June 22nd, 2012 3:24 pm

    Just got the phone call—so sorry to here about Tiffany’s Husband. Didn’t know him but know Tiffany very well.. Tifffany I know u r a strong young women and God will be there for u and if you need anything all u need to do is call. Love you girl—-

  22. Sonya Higdon on June 22nd, 2012 1:24 pm

    Today God called another angel home and he will ne sadly misseed.Nathan was a really good guy loved his wife and little girl and was so excited for the mew baby on its way. Tiffany, Anna Claire, baby Berry, his parents and entire family will be in our prayers!

  23. Ann Benner on June 22nd, 2012 11:11 am

    Nathan was the epitamy of everything a young man should be…He was a man devoted to his wife and children. People do not choose EMS, EMS chooses people. It is a dedication that comes from the love for people and the desire to help people in times when kindness and love is also needed. This must come from the heart and Nathan’s heart was full of goodness and love for his community ,family or a stranger.
    His dedication to study earned him a Paramedic patch on his shirt but his love for his fellowman earned that place he will forever hold in the heart of his EMS and Fire family.

  24. Shelton O'Bannon on June 22nd, 2012 11:11 am

    I had the honoring of working with Nathan as he was going through his paramedic training and he was always willing to learn from us “old” guys. He asked questions and always was open to suggestions. He will be missed…Fly High my friend…may God bring peace and comfort to your family and friends…

  25. mel on June 22nd, 2012 11:07 am

    I’m so sorry to hear this. The Berry and Hanks families are in our prayers.

  26. Mark on June 22nd, 2012 10:54 am

    I have been on a few fire calls and fire classes with Nathan and got to know him alittle……the one thing i found about Nathan is he was always up beat and he loved being part of the emergency field. We lost a great person. My prayers go out to all him family

  27. Tori Parks on June 22nd, 2012 10:09 am

    Nathan is my cousin. I had the wonderful opportunity of growing up with him and watching him and his sister sometimes. My heart is sad and breaks for our family. We will miss him. He was so sweet and an amazing person. We love you, Nate!

  28. Somer Bridges on June 22nd, 2012 9:37 am

    Tiffany we love you and are praying for you.

  29. southernbelle on June 22nd, 2012 9:19 am

    Nathan was a very good man. He was a long time family friend. It breaks my heart knowing that he is no longer with us, and the Fire Deptment. But he is in God’s hands now. Prayers going to his family <3

  30. people-r-crazy on June 22nd, 2012 9:17 am

    Praying for Tiffany and their babies today, as well as everyone else that he touched in life. From everything I have read about him he seems like the kind of guy you would be lucky too know. My heart is broken for his family.

  31. shannon on June 22nd, 2012 9:13 am

    So sorry for this young man’s tragic death. He gave his life to help others and that makes him a hero in my book! My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and family. God Bless You all in your time if need.

  32. JSCS on June 22nd, 2012 7:55 am

    Our prayers are with the Berry family. May they feel the love of our Heavenly Father and the community at this tragic time. Prayers for the Fears family also. Farm equipment on the road here in the north end is a familiar sight. Everyone needs to be really careful when passing them. This is the farmers worse nightmare, that an accident would occur.

  33. Safebear on June 22nd, 2012 7:28 am

    I remember Nathan when he was very young and his interests in fire fighting and emergency medical services. He reminded me a lot of me with his questions and activitiies. He will be greatly missed and I keep his family in my prayers.

  34. Jane on June 22nd, 2012 5:48 am

    What a tragic accident! My prayers go out to the family of this young man…he has done so much to help people and so much for his community.

  35. alfirewoman on June 22nd, 2012 4:27 am

    This breaks my heart. We all work together,we all are family in the fire and ems service around here. It is so very hard when we lose a brother. My thoughts and prayers are with freindship fd,flomaton fd,ems,his freinds and family. I hope somehow u can be comforted. He was a hero!

  36. friemd on June 22nd, 2012 2:19 am

    praying for Nathans family and all the emergency vehicles who gave there all.. you will be missed… EMS family is also in my prayers stay strong

  37. Julie Booth-Moran on June 22nd, 2012 1:19 am

    May Nathan’s family and EMS family feel God’s comfort and peace. We are so saddened to hear about this tragic loss. Nathan was an awesome EMT and person.

  38. sniper on June 22nd, 2012 1:17 am

    Such a tragic loss for several communities. My heart breaks for my brother in the fire service family.

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