'He's got God laughing right now,' Pastor remembers EMT killed i - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

'He's got God laughing right now,' Pastor remembers EMT killed in crash

Josh Wheeler, 26. (Source: Facebook) Josh Wheeler, 26. (Source: Facebook)
Joseph Burnette, 44. (Source: Family) Joseph Burnette, 44. (Source: Family)
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Laughter followed Josh Wheeler, 26, where ever he went. It’s his laughter that Wheeler’s loved ones remember most in the defining silence of his absence.

“There's never a dull moment with Josh, always excited. I told someone he's got God laughing right now,” said Wheeler’s pastor, Brother Robert Martin.

Returning home from work early Friday morning, Wheeler was hit head-on by a suspected drunk driver going the wrong way on I-110, said police. After the crash, police said two men stopped their cars on the interstate and got out to help. One of those men was 44-year-old Joseph Burnette. Before Burnette could return to his car, police said an 18-wheeler collided into the crash scene. Burnette was killed. The other unidentified Good Samaritan was badly hurt, as was the suspected drunk driver.

Wheeler succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital three days later, on Monday, January 9. The loss of Wheeler hit his church family especially hard. One of nine siblings, his pastor said Wheeler was meant to heal others, whether the hurt was spiritual or physical.

The 26-year-old was a youth pastor at Voice of Pentecost Church and a part-time paramedic with Acadian Ambulance. The church plans to rename its youth chapel in Wheeler’s memory.

"Everything he did was something to help people,” said Martin.

The church pastor says the Wheeler family was able to connect with the family of the second Good Samaritan at the hospital. That man is still fighting for his life.

Police have not released the name of the suspected drunk driver as the investigation of the wreck continues. The driver also remains hospitalized with serious injuries.

Police do not believe the driver of the 18-wheeler was impaired.

RELATED: EMT killed in early morning wreck Friday with alleged drunk driver

Copyright 2017 WAFB. All rights reserved.   

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 4 dead, 4 injured in Waffle House shooting

    4 dead, 4 injured in Waffle House shooting

    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:55 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:55:32 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:31 AM EDT2018-04-22 14:31:08 GMT
    Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)

    Four people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch. A white man wearing nothing a green jacket went into the restaurant and started firing a gun resembling an AR-15. Police are still searching for him. 

    More >>

    Four people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch. A white man wearing nothing a green jacket went into the restaurant and started firing a gun resembling an AR-15. Police are still searching for him. 

    More >>
  • Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:11 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:11:04 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:23 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:23:15 GMT
    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    More >>

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    More >>
  • 4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

    4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:34 AM EDT2018-04-22 12:34:45 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:35 AM EDT2018-04-22 14:35:19 GMT
    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)
    Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    More >>

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly