- Associated Press - Friday, July 28, 2017

RICHLAND, Miss. (AP) - A Mississippi firefighter is in critical condition after crashing into the back of a garbage truck.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Cpl. Eric Henry tells local media that 20-year-old Richland firefighter Noah Pate was driving his pickup truck south on Highway 49 when he struck the back of a stopped garbage truck picking up trash Thursday around 8 a.m.

Henry says Pate was taken via helicopter to the University of Mississippi Medical Center where he is in critical condition.

Now, the Richland community is rallying around Pate. The Richland fire and police departments held a blood drive on Thursday called “Battle of the Badges.” Usually a competition to see which department can donate the most blood, the competition was set aside this year and Pate was the main focus.

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