Procession takes fallen paramedic home

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – People lined streets in Lexington and Nicholasville on Monday to pay their respects as a long procession of ambulances and other emergency vehicles brought a fallen paramedic home to Jessamine County. 40-year old John Mackey died Monday at UK Hospital, five days after he was hit by a car while on duty in Nicholasville.

Investigators say Mackey stepped out of the ambulance he was in to inspect damage after the ambulance’s side mirrors hit a truck’s side mirrors. Police say Mackey stepped right into the path of a car driven by a 17-year old girl. Investigators say there was nothing the girl could have done to avoid the collision.

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Mackey spent a dozen years saving lives and helping people in need, which he continued even in death as an organ donor. Mackey’s father, Joe Kinney released the following statement after his son died:

“Our son was one of the most caring individuals I have ever known. His heart and compassion for others were as large as he was. He was extremely intelligent, but instead of pursuing a high paying career, he chose public safety to care for others. Many people in Jessamine County are alive today because of his calling. His giving spirit was evident in his service to others and the gift he gave of organ donation with his passage. He was a loving husband and devoted father of three children. He is loved and will be missed.”

The motorcade carrying Mackey’s body left UK Hospital shortly after 5:00 p.m., and ended its somber journey at Betts and West Funeral Home in Nicholasville. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.