Firefighter dies after deck boat, jet ski collide - Video

Published online: Aug 17, 2010 News
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The body of a Kansas City firefighter was pulled from Longview Lake 23 hours after he went missing.

The firefighter was on a jet ski that collided with a boat about 6 p.m. Sunday near the Little Blue Arm of Longview Lake.

KMBC's Peggy Breit reported that fire officials told her that the missing firefighter's body was found just before 5 p.m. Monday. Gerald Lavallee, 48, was a 16-year veteran of the department.

KMBC's Justin Robinson reported that Lavallee was wearing a life jacket when his jet ski collided with the boat. The firefighter went under water. Fire Chief Smokey Dyer said Lavallee drove a truck for the fire department.

The Missouri Water Patrol said another firefighter was driving the pontoon boat. According to a Water Patrol report, the boat "was in tow" with the jet ski traveling north.

"Another jet ski cut in front of the deck boat and the deck boat was unable to avoid colliding with the jet ski on the port side," according to the report.The Kansas City Fire Department said Monday that the firefighter driving the boat was Lavallee's captain. The two worked together at Station No. 37 in Waldo.

The water patrol identified the boat's driver as Ronald R. Gibbs, 47, of Kansas City. Gibbs is a 23-year veteran of the fire department.

Lavallee had a son and was scheduled to get married again in a few weeks. His son, fiancee and former wife held vigil at Longview Lake Monday, KMBC's Marcus Moore reported.

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