November 29, 2012

Family, fiancee mourn ambulance driver

ALTONA — Eric Monty was a giver.

“From a very young age, he showed a generous spirit, and this marked him throughout his life,” said Dennis Monty, the Altona man’s eldest brother. 

Eric, 45, died early Tuesday when he suffered a heart attack behind the wheel of an ambulance on an EMS call. The rig crashed on Route 190 near Duley Road, injuring patient Gary Lamarche, 55, of Altona and Champlain EMS technician Peter Coulombe, 26, of Champlain.

Lamarche was treated at CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh following the accident and then released. On Wednesday, Coulombe was listed in serious condition at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.

Eric’s older sister, Susan Roberts, 52, an EMT on board the ambulance, was also injured in the accident but is doing better, said their sister Mary Ellen Tomo.

“She’s a trouper. She’s got six broken ribs, a punctured bone, lacerated liver, concussion and lots of bruising,” Mary Ellen said. “(But) she’s up, and she can walk.”


Eric, the shop foreman and mechanic at Champlain Peterbuilt, was the youngest of six.

Family members gathered at his home in Altona Wednesday afternoon to share stories, support each other and remember him.

His fiancee, Gladys Daniels, was among them. Eric proposed to her in early September, and their wedding date was set for April of next year, days away from the two-year anniversary of when they first met.

“He was the best in the world that anybody could want as a husband,” she said in a phone interview. “Just the most amazing man I ever met in my life.”

Dennis said Eric couldn’t wait to start a new life with his fiancee. “He was so happy. So looking forward to starting his life again.”


There has been an outpouring of support for her and Eric’s family since the accident, Gladys said.

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