Former deputy coroner Harold Livingston understood survivors.
When he was 24, Livingston survived an air ambulance crashing into an empty building near the Spokane International Airport in January 1996.
The crash, later blamed on the inexperience of the pilot, left its mark on the Finley man through the pain of his injuries.
Try as he might, he couldn’t escape it. Disabilities followed. Disease too.
But during Franklin County death investigations, his suffering also made him uniquely qualified to talk to people survived by their family member, Coroner Dan Blasdel said.
“He understood what they were going through,” Blasdel said.
The 46-year-old Finley resident died Thursday from complications brought on by COPD, after 22 years of struggling with the effects of the disease.
Livingston graduated from River View High School. It was the same high school he returned to as a volunteer CPR instructor.
“He loved being a father and taking care of our boy and helping others,” said his wife, Brandi Livingston.
It was the love of helping others that sent him to Grand Rapids, Mich., where he received his national paramedic training.
He returned to the area to work as a paramedic, and volunteered as a CPR instructor and firefighter.
The crash left him unable to do the more physical activities, but it didn’t take away his desire to volunteer.
He brought his medical expertise to the Franklin County Coroner’s Office about three years ago first as a volunteer, then as a part-time employee.
Livingston’s work with survivors left his mark on the families, Brandi Livingston said.
And they would often tell her about the wonderful man she had.
Hillcrest Memorial Center, Kennewick, is in charge of arrangements.