- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 16, 2007

CRUMPTON, Md. — Father and son firefighters killed in last week’s crash on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge were laid to rest yesterday on the Eastern Shore as mourners and fellow officers gave them a hometown hero’s farewell.

Randall “Randy” Orff, 47, and son Jonathan, 19, were part of a seven-vehicle wreck May 10 that killed three persons, injured several others and stopped traffic for hours.

To those who knew the Orffs in their small hometown, about 40 miles from the bridge, they were remembered not for how they died, but for the way they lived.

“He was always ready to help out however he could,” Dorazita Newton, 26, said of Randy Orff, who gave her horse-riding lessons 13 years ago and remained a good friend.

“He was always willing to go that extra mile,” Mrs. Newton said.

The Orffs were buried with firefighter honors after a service at the Crumpton Volunteer Fire Hall, where they served just a few miles from their home.

Hundreds filled the hall to say goodbye, as firefighters and officers from nearby stations and as far away as the District and Clayton, Del., joined to pay their respects.

A giant U.S. flag attached to a firetruck ladder flew over an intersection near the grave site as a lengthy motorcade passed underneath.

The two caskets were carried to the cemetery atop two department fire engines.

“They loved the fire department. Being firefighters was all they talked about.” said Jacqueline Brown, 43, the manager at the Orffs’ local bank. “They were both nice, hard-working people.”

Members of Crumpton’s fire department declined to comment.

Randy Orff was known as an avid outdoorsman who liked to fish, hunt and tend to his garden.

As a member of the Nur Shrine Temple of Wilmington, Del., he headed the temple’s “Clown Unit,” dressing up as a clown for hospital visits and events with sick and injured children.

He had worked for Brawner Contracting for about five years.

“Randy was my foreman at [Brawner] years ago,” said Eddie Warner, 44, a neighbor and family friend who attended the service. “A good man, he and his son.”

Jonathan Orff had recently started working with his father at Brawner as a laborer after graduating last spring from Queen Anne’s County High School in Centreville.

Authorities said that a runaway trailer that detached from a sport utility vehicle appeared to cause the crash.

James H. Ingle, 44, of Preston, was also killed.

The Orffs were riding eastbound on the bridge in a pickup, and Mr. Ingle was driving westbound in a Honda Civic. The SUV also was heading westbound, as were the other four vehicles involved in the crash.

Services for Mr. Ingle were held Monday after a service at the Frampton Funeral Home in Preston.

Authorities said that an investigation was continuing and that an “after action” report would be finished in about two months.

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