Wife of retired Guilford Co. fire marshal hit by truck speaks out

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Debbie Apple wants to make sure other families don’t go through the same pain she has for the past four months.

On Sept. 30, her husband Ervin Apple, a retired Guilford County Emergency Services fire marshal, was hit by a pick-up truck while riding his bike.

The accident happened on N.C. 61 North in Gibsonville, just feet away from the wooden cross Ervin put up in their driveway days before.

"It's very painful for me to pull in my driveway,” Apple said. “But, I always keep my eyes on that cross."

So, for the past four months she’s been waiting at his bedside at Moses Cone Hospital, looking for signs of hope no matter how small.

"He knows close family voices,” she said. “He will turn his head toward us. He would squeeze my hand."

Ervin has severe brain injuries and can't speak. A pain Debbie says she's been dealing with in private until this week, when she heard about the death of High Point firefighter Todd Martinez who was also hit while riding his bike Sunday.

"It brought back what I experienced that night,” Apple said. “I can't imagine what his wife felt."

"These firefighters give their lives for us,” she said. “And they're very dedicated to their work.”

The family has filed a civil suit against the driver of the pick-up truck, who was not arrested. He received a ticket for crossing left of center.

While Debbie waits for her husband's recovery, she's sending prayers to the Martinez family and to her own.

"What doctors can't do, God can," Apple said.


  • moron

    @Fred wow is that all you have to say about this? That’s about the most insensitive & stupid comment of all time. The world is unfortunately filled with people like you.

    • Jamfoc (@jamfoc)

      Agreed! Cyclists have the same right to the roadway as drivers of cars and it is the responsibility of those drivers to make sure they watch out for, and be careful when driving around, the cyclists!

  • FaithC

    Yes they have the same rights as a car, but they also have to obey the same driving laws as a car. I see many cyclists that don’t. I have had them swerve out in front of me because the guy in the front had turned his head to talk to the guy behind him. I have seen them go through red lights, ride the center line, and in general disobey every traffic law.
    Cars also have the right to pass cyclists. According to NC law, the Cyclists are to ride to the right in the travel lane. I have seen some refuse to ride right, ride straight down the middle of the travel lane and hold up traffic.
    No matter what you are driving or riding, pay attention and abide by traffic laws.

  • laffinatcha

    For ALL motor vehicle drivers: When you come upon a cyclist, slow down and ask yourself “what would I do if that bicyclist was a state trooper? “

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