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Barry Miller, killed in ambulance crash, was ‘committed to the community’

BERGEN – Barry G. Miller, the man killed Wednesday morning when an ambulance struck the rear of a backhoe, wore a lot of hats in Genesee County, especially in the close emergency-services community.

The 50-year-old Miller was a Genesee County coroner, a 31-year member of the Bergen Fire Department and chief of its Emergency Medical Services team.

He also was a former deputy supervisor for the Town of Bergen.

Colleagues also cited Miller’s spirit of volunteerism and generosity.

“He’s one of those people that are hard to find today,” said Timothy J. Yaeger, Genesee County Emergency Services coordinator.

“He was committed to the community and the Fire Department. It was always about what he can do to help the community, his friends and people he didn’t even know.”

Yaeger said that Miller, who also owned Miller’s Millworks in Bergen, would leave his business on a regular basis to respond to emergency calls.

“He would do the jobs that aren’t glorious, jobs that others wouldn’t do,” he said.

“He was generous with his time and his money, donating to various causes through his (podium manufacturing) business.”

Miller was a crew member in the ambulance of the Bergen Fire Department when it collided Wednesday morning with the backhoe.

The ambulance was responding to a call at about 7:15 a.m.

He was riding in the front passenger seat of the ambulance that struck the rear of the Town of Riga backhoe on Bovee Road, west of Brew Road in Riga.

Miller was pronounced dead at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia.

The ambulance driver, Zackery Czudak, 30, said he slowed down because of fog and glare from the sun, and he apparently did not see the backhoe in time to stop, according to Monroe County sheriff’s deputies.

Czudak and another crew member, Gina Bliss, 52, who was riding in the back of the emergency vehicle, were treated at UMMC and released.

The backhoe operator was not hurt.

A community vigil led by the Rev. Michael Merry of the Bergen First Presbyterian Church was held Wednesday night at the fire hall.

Yaeger said calling hours are expected to be Sunday and/or Monday, with funeral services likely to be held Tuesday.

Arrangements are being handled by H.E. Turner & Co. Inc. in Bergen.