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Veteran Hartland first responder killed at Niagara County fire

A sign at the Hartland Volunteer Fire Department says, WE MOURN OUR LOSS
Hartland Volunteer Fire Department

A first responder has been killed while working as a spotter at the scene of a Niagara County fire.

She was identified as Judy Spencer, 65, who officials said had served with the Hartland Volunteer Fire Company for more than 20 years. She also was named Firefighter of the Year in 2017 by the Hogs and Heroes Foundation, according to a Facebook post.

Niagara County Sheriff Michael Filicetti said Spencer was acting in a "fire police capacity" when the incident happened at around 8:40 p.m. Tuesday on Quaker Road, where several fire companies had responded to a fire in about 50 hay bales in a field.

The sheriff said it appears she was run over by a Barker Fire Department Rescue Truck, as it backed up. Spencer died of her injuries at the scene.

The driver of the truck, who was not identified, was distraught and no charges are expected to be filed, but a full investigation continues into what is being called a "tragic accident."