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.

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