BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | HIghway department workers Ed Reeve (center) and Chris Bugee install a street sign Tuesday morning along the Peconic River in memory of fallen ambulance volunteer Heidi Behr, as the Behr family — Heidi’s grandmother Dorothy, mother June, father John and sister Dana look on. Jim Stark of the ‘Heidi’s Helping Angels’ group and Highway Superintendent George ‘Gio’ Woodson were also on hand.
The road running along the Peconic River in downtown Riverhead is now officially known as Heidi Behr Way, honoring a Riverhead ambulance volunteer who died at the age of 23 in a tragic ambulance crash in May of 2005.
Town highway department workers installed the sign Tuesday morning as Heidi’s parents, June and John, her sister Dana, and her grandmother Dorothy, looked on.
The non-profit group Heidi’s Helping Angels had urged the Town Board to name the road after Heidi in April, and the board approved the measure in May.
“It’s nice to have her remembered,” John Behr told The News-Review at the time. “We grew up on the river over on Riverside Drive, so she used to walk there a lot. It’s a tribute to her.”
Heidi’s Helping Angels paid for the two signs, one at Peconic Avenue and one at McDermott Avenue, and donated them to the town highway department, according to Jim Stark of Heidi’s Helping Angels.
“Part of our mission statement is to memorialize Heidi’s memory for the sacrifice she made to the community,” Mr. Stark said. “One of the things that the Behr family has always wanted was something named after Heidi, to show the community that our first responders are very important.”
Heidi was one of two emergency medical technicians that died in the 2005 ambulance crash, which happened as they were transporting an elderly patient to the hospital on Main Road in Aquebogue.
Bill Stone, who was a paid EMT and lived in Ridge, also died in the crash.
Heidi Behr left behind her son, Jared, who was just 13 months old at the time and has severe disabilities. He has been raised by the Behr family since then.