Family remembers Good Samaritan who died after being struck while clearing highway

VIDEO: Family remembers Good Samaritan who died after being struck while moving tree on highway
Photo Source: Wheels 4 Woody
Photo Source: Wheels 4 Woody

COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Family and friends of Michael "Woody" Woodrum say he was helping someone on the road that ran into the tree before his arrival.

Colleton County Fire and Rescue say Woody was trying to move the fallen tree from Cottageville Highway in Colleton County when another car hit him on Friday night.

When Tropical Storm Hermine swept through the Lowcountry it knocked down trees.

Officials say Woody was unconscious on the highway and was treated by an off-duty emergency worker until he was taken to the hospital. Authorities say he had multiple trauma injuries. He died on Saturday night.

Family and friends gathered in Summerville on Sunday to remember him. It was just about a month ago his family was dealing with the loss of his father.

Woody was a player on the adult hockey league at the Carolina Ice Palace. The team is looking to change the name to "Woody's Warriors" to honor him.

He was a biker who built custom bikes and was loved in the motorcycle community. Woody also owned a custom paint and body shop in Cottageville called Twisted Candy Customs.

Those who knew Woody say people were drawn to him because of his fun personality. His mother Pat Woodrum says he was a happy child who loved life.

"He would be mad at you one minute and the next minute he forgot all about it, he didn't hold a grudge and everybody loved Michael he was mischievous as a child very mischievous," Pat said.

He attended Oakbrook Middle School and graduated from Fort Dorchester High School. His mother says he loved his teachers and they loved him back.

"[He did] so many wonderful things in his life that just brought joy and happiness and when we went in to see him last night for the final time, he had a little smirk on his face," Pat said. "I know that's how he wants to be remembered."

Pat says Woody and his fiance Kristina just told her that they were in the wedding planning stage. Woody met Kristina when they were 10 years old. They later started dating and became a blended family. Kristina has two daughters ages seven and twelve.

"Michael loved her and she loved him, and they were going to be a little family," Pat said.

Woody's nephew William Runyon says Woody is the reason he started playing hockey.

"He was just an inspiration to me to pursue my goals in life and, I'm really going to miss him," Runyon said. "I mean I've known him for my whole life the whole 22 years, he's as close to a brother I have."

Justin Jenkins was Woody's friend and business partner. They worked together at the shop.

"It's hard to believe that just a good kind soul who is doing the right thing to try to help other people not end up in a bad situation ended up in the worst situation," Jenkins said.

Jenkins says it's his family and friend's mission to make sure Woody's memory lives on. He says although they've only known each other a short time the friendship they had made it feel like much longer.

"Everyday working at the shop was like a big free for all, like two kids in a candy store and that's all that ever was... all of a sudden it would be shenanigans all day long," Jenkins said.

Woody's brother Ronald Reid says he wants the world to know about how much Michael meant to them.

"The way he touched each and everybody's heart as well as what he did the day he died to show how much he loved life and other people and willing to help anybody," Reid said. "He truly felt love for everybody."

His family wants to spread the message of road safety and they encourage others to  listen to warnings when officials advise people to stay off the road.

If you need to report an emergency on the highway SCDOT recommends that you call Highway Patrol by dialing *47 or call 911. The SC Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.

Family and friends will hold a benefit called Wheels 4 Woody.

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