BLOXOM, Va.- Shock, hurt and devastation are just some of the emotions being felt by a close-knit community in Accomack County, after a deadly fire truck crash that killed a volunteer firefighter in Bloxom.
Now, WBOC is learning more about David Chew and who he was from people who knew and loved him.
Chew was a father to a 3-year-old boy, a third-generation volunteer firefighter, a medic and a minister. But most of all, Chew was a beloved member of a community that is now feeling a tremendous loss.
News of Chew's death came as a shock to everyone, even people like Bloxom mail carrier Nancy Smith, who said she did not know him well. But she feels like she did.
"It's devastating to the whole entire community," she said. "The town of Bloxom and all up and down the shore, everybody's just talking about it. It's just unbelievable what we've lost."
Those that did know Chew well – like a brother, in fact – are in disbelief.
"You can't say enough good about the man. He would do anything in the world for you," explained Bloxom Deputy Fire Chief Sean Bagwell. "Sad, sad loss to the community, to the department and most of all to his family."
Bagwell shared memories of his friend and co-worker, painting a picture of a man devoted to his community, who loved educating kids and helping others. When words failed him, emotions said it all.
Bloxom Mayor Kimberly Cathell said the hurt is being felt all around.
"He was a very, very community-oriented family man," she said. "It's a great loss. A great loss for the town, a great loss for his family and his fire department."
Chew served 11 years with the Bloxom Volunteer Fire Company and ran thousands of ambulance calls. According to Bagwell, he was always helping others and now, he wants Chew's family to know the community is here to help them.
"We definitely like to let the family know we're certainly sorry for their loss," Bagwell said.
Bagwell said the outpouring of support from neighboring departments, coming even from other states, has been overwhelming.
Tasley and Atlantic stepped in to cover shifts at the Bloxom VFC on Monday and Chincoteague helped out Tuesday.
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:19 AM EDT2013-05-18 14:19:20 GMT
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