Investigators determined that negligence did not play a part in the death of a Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company paramedic who was struck and killed by a company vehicle, the Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday, as funeral arrangements for man were made public.
Erik Steciak, 29, of Howard County was killed Tuesday afternoon when a four-wheel drive vehicle lost traction on an icy, snowy driveway off Patterson Mill Road in Emmorton. As it slid, the right rear side of the vehicle struck Steciak as he walked nearby and pinned him to a tree, according to Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Cristie Kahler.
The vehicle was driven by another member of the volunteer fire company; it was called to assist in the retrieval of a woman who had sustained minor injuries in a crash near the end of the driveway a short time before, and walked to the nearby house for assistance.
Steciak was remembered across Harford County Tuesday and Wednesday, both by emergency responders and local fire companies as well as the county council, which expressed their condolences before their meeting Tuesday night. County Executive Barry Glassman ordered that all county flags be flown at half-staff in Steciak’s honor beginning Wednesday and continuing through sunset on the day of his interment; Glassman said he would ask that the Maryland flag also be flown at half-staff on the latter date as well.
“The people of Harford County extend our sympathy and prayers to Erik’s family in honor of his ultimate sacrifice in serving our citizens,” Glassman said in a statement.
In addition to his duties as a paid paramedic with the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company, Steciak was a captain with the West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department in Howard County.
“A long time line officer at WFVFD, Erik was recently promoted to the rank of Captain and tasked with coordinating department training,” the department wrote in a statement on their website. “He also served as a mentor for many new members, whether they were in Firefighter 1 class or EMT class. Each year since joining, Erik was consistently one of our top Fire and EMS responders, usually receiving several awards at each company banquet.”
Two viewings for Steciak are scheduled: the first will take place Friday, Jan. 16 at the West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., while a second will take place Saturday, Jan. 17 at the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Funeral and cremation services will be held Sunday, Jan. 18 at the West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department at 1 p.m., with a reception to follow at Howard County’s James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center.