Paramedic who helped save Ireland Nugent dies in motorcycle crash | News
LARGO, Florida -- In his photographs, the smile is something you can't miss. Coworkers of Christopher Jennings say a grin was seldom missing from the paramedic's face.
"At work, at play, he was just a very joyful person," said Michael Bureau, an operations supervisor at Sunstar and a close friend of Jennings.
Jennings was killed Monday after an off-duty motorcycle crash in Clearwater. Just minutes before, he'd finished with a training session at Sunstar headquarters and told his colleagues goodbye.
Coworker Christopher Eisenhardt says he'll miss so much about his friend. "Everything. The smile, the laugh. Everything," he says, bowing his head.
Jennings collected a lot of nicknames -- "CJ," "Click Clack," and "Sunshine," after being forced to sing "You are my Sunshine" during a training camp.
But there was more to Jennings than just his smile. He excelled at his job and took advanced training to serve as a SWAT paramedic with the sheriff's office. "I think CJ had an honest desire to help those around him," said Bureau.
In April, Jennings played a major role in the rescue of Ireland Nugent, the little girl who lost her legs in a lawn mower accident. 10 News spoke with Jennings about that horrific call.
"I can personally remember the father screaming in the background," Jennings recalled at the time.
Later, Jennings had a chance to meet a recovering Ireland and her parents. There the Nugents learned that Jennings had tried to entertain Ireland in the back of the ambulance by making faces.
Today, Ireland's father, Jerry, wishes he could say thanks just one more time. "He had such a life ahead of helping people and doing the things that he loved," said Jerry. "Just very, very sad."
More stories about Ireland Nugent's accident and recovery:
Lawnmower accident: Ireland Nugent, 2, loses feet in lawnmower accident
Earlier surgery: Girl hurt in lawnmower accident undergoes surgery
Care for life: Toddler hurt in mower accident to get care for life
Second surgery: Ireland Nugent needs second surgery
Full of smiles: Ireland Nugent out of pediatric ICU
Fundraising: Church raises $110,000 for medical care
Back to School: Ireland Nugent returns to preschool
Prosthetic fitting: Ireland Nugent fitted for new feet
First Steps! Ireland Nugent walks again on prosthetic limbs
Amazing Progress: Ireland Nugent continues recovery
You may also like...
George Zimmerman Trial: Full coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting
Bra Shaking: Police investigated for making woman shake her bra
4 H8TERZ: Florida's rejected license plates
Hot robber: Pretty female robber wrestles giant clerk, wins
Mistaken Identity: Strip club fight leads to interstate shooting
Animal Cruelty: Man accused of killing, cooking family dog
Hooters Hotties: Beautiful women compete in 2013 Hooters swimsuit competition
My bad, Judge: Woman apologizes after flipping off judge
Teen Lesbian Support: Online support grows 18-year-old girl who had same-sex relationship with 15-year-old
Prostitute Roundup: 92 arrested in online sex sting
Yellow light bust: Florida shortens yellow lights to cause more red light tickets
Hottie Internet Convict: Woman behind mug shot meme sets the record straight
Homebrew Soda: Man claims to find Coca-Cola recipe, sells it on eBay
Waterspouts: Video, images show waterspouts coming ashore
Motorcycles and bikinis: Bikini bike wash!
Faces of Meth: Before and After pictures
Sex tape scandal: Miss Delaware Teen USA resigns
When neigh means neigh: Video shows man brutalizing, having sex with horse
Sex blog: Tampa area school CFO busted over her dirty sex porn blog *warning, GRAPHIC*
Nasty Nasty Dining: 10 of the nastiest restaurants in Tampa Bay in 2012
APP-tastic: Download the 10 News app for your iPad
Bikinis, mud, trucks: The Redneck Yacht Club
Outrageous mug shot galleries...
Notorious Women: Bad girls behind bars
Teachers: Teacher arrest mugshots
Prostitutes: Prostitute mug shots
Porn arrests: Child porn arrest mug shots
Local Mugs: Hillsborough County Mug shots
More unusual mug shots and galleries: 10 News slideshows and galleries