‘A servant’s sendoff’: Memorial set for Lancaster County fire chief killed on duty

A memorial service and procession of fire trucks from around South Carolina will be held Saturday for a Lancaster County chief killed in the line of duty.

Dennis Straight, 59, the assistant chief at the Charlotte Road/Van Wyck Volunteer Fire Department, died Nov. 6 when he was struck by a car while directing traffic after a wreck. Straight, former chief at the department, was a volunteer for more than 20 years.

The memorial service is 3 p.m. Saturday at Second Baptist Church in Lancaster.

Firefighters will “honor his life, service and sacrifice to the department and the Van Wyck community,” said Lancaster County Fire Marshal Russell Rogers.

At 1:30 p.m. the processional of fire vehicles will leave Lancaster Funeral Home and move to the church. The procession route is along White Street, Chesterfield Avenue, Market Street, then S.C. 200 to the church.

A ladder truck with American Flag will be set up on S.C. 200.

The public who wants to pay respects to Chief Straight can line any of the streets of the processional route, Rogers aid.

Dozens of fire departments and hundreds of firefighters from around the state have asked to be part of the processional, officials said.

Straight, a Winthrop University graduate, worked in Charlotte and volunteered at the fire department.

John Agee, chief of the Richburg Volunteer Fire Department in Chester County, said his department and many others will send a truck and firefighters.

“About 75 percent of all firefighters in South Carolina are volunteers just like Chief Straight,” Agee said. “People like him serve their communities out of a sense of duty and service. We are proud to show our support for one of our own.”

Memorial contributions may be made to Charlotte Road/Van Wyck Volunteer Fire Department, 4455 Old Hickory Road, Lancaster, SC 29720; or to Van Wyck Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 88, Van Wyck, SC 29744.

The investigation into the Nov. 6 crash remains ongoing, S.C. Highway Patrol troopers said.

Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065, @AndrewDysHerald

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