Death of Fire Captain’s Son Brings Illegal Immigration Debate Home

Franco Cambrany Francisco-Eduardo mugshot
Photo: Knoxville Police Department

The death of a Knoxville, Tennessee, fire captain’s son brought the debate over illegal immigration to a very local level. Franco Cambrany Francisco-Eduardo is now in the custody of immigration officials after allegedly killing the young man in a multi-vehicle crash.

Knoxville police arrested Francisco-Eduardo on charges of criminally negligent homicide, driving without a license, and driving without proof of insurance after a multi-vehicle crash. The illegal immigrant allegedly swerved his Chevrolet pickup truck into oncoming traffic on December 29 — striking a Honda Civic being driven by 22-year-old Pierce Kennedy Corcoran, according to Knoxville News. Corcoran sustained serious injuries in the crash and died after being transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Doctors pronounced the young man dead on arrival at the hospital.

Knoxville Police Department Spokesperson Darrell DeBusk said Corcoran was the son of fire department Captain D.J. Corcoran.

Francisco-Eduardo also reportedly injured a passenger in Corcoran’s Honda. Officials reported that 21-year-old Damecia Adams sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Two other vehicles became involved in the crash. The drivers and passengers in those vehicles did not sustain injuries in the crash, the local newspaper reported.

On January 4, Knox County Detention Facility officials released Francisco-Eduardo to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. Due to the ongoing partial government, ICE officials were not available to comment on the transfer.

Social media lit up with the news that the son of the fire captain had allegedly been killed by an illegal immigrant. In a tweet that went viral, @JeepSuzih2 wrote:

A fire department secretary posted on Facebook, “They never die only kill others,” Knoxville News reported. “He would still be with us if the illegal was still in his own country. That wall can’t be built soon enough.”

Pierce Corcoran’s father avoided discussion of the illegal immigration status of the accused killer. Instead, he thanked the public for the love and support shown for his family.

“The kindness my fellow firefighters from across this beautiful state showed me and my family at such a difficult time in our lives was incredible,” Capt. Corcoran said. “The quick-thinking coordination to accomplish this task is a true testament to firefighters’ willingness and compassion not only during emergencies responses but taking care of our own.”

Pierce’s mother took a more direct approach in her public statements.

“Pierce Corcoran was only 22 years old when he was killed by an illegal immigrant in a car crash on December 29th, 2018,” she wrote in a post titled, “Justice for Pierce.

The grieving mother continued:

For us, there are two issues: safety and responsibility. As it pertains to safety, we are not the first, nor will we be the last to lose a loved one on a road known to many as dangerous. This is something we feel must be addressed. As it pertains to responsibility, we as parents taught all three of our children to be responsible for their actions. We discussed with them their need to maintain their vehicles and always have their license, registration and insurance up to date.

Everyone is well aware that the 44 year old man involved in our 22 year old’s death did not practice this same responsibility and has not done so for 14 years. Yes, it was an accident and yes, it could have been anyone.

It’s not about where this man came from–it’s the fact that he takes no personal responsibility for his actions. Not only in the financial sense, but no responsibility at all. He will most likely face very little jail time when all is said and done. He believes he should remain in our country illegally. Not only that, but we provide his counsel to fight for his rights.

We are all aware, as a family, that nothing will bring Pierce back, but don’t tell me my son, who lived in this country and followed its rules, doesn’t deserve better. For God’s sake, out of respect for the men and women who fought and fight to make this country such a desirable place to live, DO THE RIGHT THING and come here legally and become a responsible citizen.

U.S. Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN) called Corcoran’s death “tragic” and “entirely avoidable.”

Francisco-Eduardo is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on January 10, the local newspaper reported. It is not known how or if his being transferred to ICE’s custody will impact the hearing. He reportedly has no prior criminal history in Knox and Anderson Counties.

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