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Logger killed in accident told mom goodbye over phone

ELLIOTTVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - The flag at the Elliottville Volunteer Fire Department flew at half-staff today in honor of Josh Ferguson. His family says that place was like a second home to him and that he lived to help others.

Josh Ferguson's mother, Lois Tackitt, says he always made her proud.

"He was the kind of person everyone would want to call their son. He always put others first. If somebody needed help he was willing to go do that. It didn't matter if their house was on fire or if there was a car wreck," she said.

A member of the Elliottville Volunteer Fire Department since he was 10.

"I can't tell you how many holiday meals we've not had Josh with us because we'd just sit down to dinner and the tones would drop and he would drop everything and say 'I have to go, I have to go! Someone needs me! Someone needs help!'," said Tackitt.

But yesterday, it was Josh who needed help. A freak logging accident left him pinned between a bulldozer and a tree. As he lay dying, a fellow logger was able to help him make one last phone call.

"My cell phone rang and I didn't recognize the number. Normally I wouldn't pick it up, but I think the Lord just said 'You need to answer that phone'," she said.

The mother and son talked one last time for several minutes.

"He told me he loved me and his Nanny, that's my mom, and that he loved Tiphanie and he wanted me to call and tell her that.
I said 'Hang in there son, Mommy loves you. Pray...fight...help is on the way'," said Tackitt.

Josh was pronounced dead at the scene. He leaves behind the woman he was set to marry one month from today.

"He was the best person that ever walked into my life," said Ferguson's fiancee, Tiphanie Bowling.

The two couldn't wait to begin a new life together.

"Josh wanted to have kids. He wanted kids of his own. He'd already picked out baby names," said Bowling.

As Josh's family tried to figure out how to let him go, his mother says she'll always cherish those last few minutes on the phone.

"I can't tell you how thankful I am that I got that phone call. As hard as it was to hear him and know that he was leaving. It's sad, but a blessing that I'll never forget," said Tackitt.

Josh's family tells us he'll be buried with full firefighter honors. The visitation will be Thursday after 3:00 at Northcutt and Son Home for Funerals in Morehead. Ferguson's funeral will be Friday.

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