The assistant chief of the Van Wyck fire department in Lancaster County was killed Tuesday while directing traffic around a wreck, police and coroner officials said.
Dennis Straight, 59, of Lancaster died around 8 p.m. Tuesday at Springs Memorial Hospital, said Lancaster County Deputy Coroner Jennifer Collins.
Fire officials in Lancaster County and around South Carolina were shocked and deeply saddened by Straights death.
Lancaster County firefighter hit, killed while directing traffic
It is with deep regret that the announcement is made of the death of Charlotte Road/Van Wyck Assistant Fire Chief Dennis Straight, who lost his life in the line of duty while working at a motor vehicle collision scene, said Lancaster County Fire Marshal Russell Rogers.
Straight was a volunteer for more than 20 years with the Charlotte Road/Van Wyck department that serves much of the Indian Land and middle areas of Lancaster County, between Lancaster and the North Carolina border.
Fellow firefighters described Straight as a great man and dedicated to the people of Lancaster County.
Darren Player, Lancaster County Emergency Management director, who has more than 40 years with the fire service in Lancaster County, described Straight as a super, generous man. Player knew him and worked with for more than two decades.
Straight was known for years as being Santa Claus for children when the Van Wyck fire truck would deliver toys and gifts to the community, those close to him said.
Straight was struck around 7 p.m. while working a crash at U.S. 521 and S.C. 5 in Lancaster County, said S.C. Highway Patrol Cpl. Bill Rhyne.
The vehicle that hit Straight was driven by a 33-year-old man from Kershaw, Rhyne said. That driver was not injured, police said.
Straight was directing traffic on the on-ramp from northbound U.S. 521 when he was hit, Collins said.
The earlier crash happened around 6:15 p.m. Straight went to the scene to help with traffic flow, Rogers said.
LANCASTER, SC (FOX 46 WJZY) – A firefighter was hit and killed in Lancaster County Wednesday evening, according to the Van Wyck Fire Department.
The Van Wyck Fire Chief says that the Assistant Fire Chief was struck while responding to a wreck and directing traffic on Hwy 521 at Hwy 5. Straight was on duty at the time of death.