Family, fire department mourns loss of 22-year-old first responder
MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCSC) - Just weeks after turning 22 years old, family, friends and members of the firefighter community are mourning the loss of one of their own.
Drew Kelly died in a motorcycle crash on Friday afternoon while driving to his mother’s house to celebrate Mother’s Day before crashing on Interstate 95 near mile marker 88 in Orangeburg County.
Since turning 18, Drew was an engineer and emergency medical technician for the Moncks Corner Fire Department. Family says Drew always had dreams of becoming a firefighter since four generations of his family have given their time to the community.
“He always wanted to be a firefighter since the day he was born,” Drew’s mother Stephanie Fulmer says. “If he could have came out of the womb in a firefighter uniform, he would’ve.”
Growing up in South Carolina, Drew’s family says since the day he was born, being a firefighter was in his blood.
Loved ones described Drew as goofy, hardworking, loving, giving and kind at just 22 years old, as well as loving his family more than anything.
“I hope that everyone can remember my brother for how goofy he was, and how he would wake up every day to go and save other people,” Ariel Nicole Drew’s sister says. “I hope that people remember him in the most positive way.”
Knowing each other since high school, Drew married his wife Roma less than two months ago on March 16.
“I have his ring on right now. I can’t, I can’t wear my ring. I just can’t do it,” she says.
When Roma found out about the crash on Friday, she says she just wishes Drew was still here.
“My parents told me I need to come to the house and they called me and they told me. When they told me, my heart just dropped felt like everything inside of me broke, and just went completely numb,” Roma says.
Drew was extremely close to his two nieces’, Kinsley and Keliani. At only five years old, Kinsley told us what she will miss about her uncle.
“He was the best. He was too young to die, and I really love him a lot,” Kinsley says. “He was my favorite uncle because he was a firefighter.”
The Moncks Corner Fire Department Fire Chief, Robert Gass, said that Drew’s passion in life was fighting fires and serving his community. He was the 2021 Firefighter of the Year for the Town of Moncks Corner.
“To see all the love and the support from the community, and the respect that my brother has, means the absolute world to me,” Nicole says. “Even though my brother is not here with me anymore, I know that he is still and will always be loved by the community.”
The funeral will be held at Beautiful Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.
Memorials can be made to the Lowcountry Firefighter Support Team.
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