A 72-year-old broadcast engineer who has worked for PMB Broadcasting and iHeartRadio stations in the Columbus, Ga., market has died following complications from his unwitting involvement in a June 3 high-speed car chase in the neighboring city of Phenix City, Ala.
Frank McLemore, a nationally known figure in Ham Radio circles, suffered complications from internal injuries, WXTX-54 reports.
McLemore and his wife, Erin, were driving in their Nissan Murano at approximately 7:30pm Saturday when two males in a stolen Honda CRV crashed into their vehicle. The suspects are 18-year-olds Robert Fletcher and Dezhaun Shynotez Dumas, who was the driver.
Dumas has been charged with murder, second-degree assault, and bringing stolen property across state lines, WXTX reports. He is waiting for his extradition to Alabama.
Erin McLemore was listed in serious condition at University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital as of Sunday (6/4).
According to WRBL-3, the couple had attended a 50-year class reunion at Central High School and were on their way to their granddaughter’s engagement celebration.
Bear O’Brian, morning host at PMB’s WKCN-FM “Kissin’ 99.3,” worked with McLemore for more than three decades.
“He was a good Christian man and we’re not worried about where he is. He cared about people and he was the greatest family man. He loved his family so much,” O’Brian said. “He was probably the best engineer anywhere in the business and I’ve worked with a bunch of them.”
Charles Wooten, a Director of Engineering and IT for iHeart Media based in Lynn Haven, Fla., told the TV station, “I saw Frank actually two weeks ago in Ohio at the Ham Radio Convention, which he attended annually as I did. I have known Frank for many years. We’re both broadcast engineers. My prayers are with the family and other friends. It was a shock to me.”
McLemore was a FCC Field Engineer from 1968 to 1972 and, more recently, as an inspector and inspector for the Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP). He has also been the owner of Communications & Electronics Inc., which provides contract services to commercial radio broadcast stations for transmitter and studio installation and maintenance, since 1972.