Opinion

Deputy coroner saluted

Any list of difficult jobs has to include coroner, deputy coroner and assistant coroner.

They don't get called unless someone's dead. They must investigate some rather unpleasant scenes, whether it's a car wreck or a shooting. They must find the relatives of victims and deliver the most horrible news.

We respect all who professionally perform those jobs. But we give an extra salute to Tommy Williams, Chester County's chief deputy coroner.

Williams recently became the first recipient of the deputy coroner's award from the South Carolina Coroner's Association.

The 49-year-old Chester native has been deputy coroner for just two years. The position pays nothing, and he had to take time off of his job as an electrician to attend classes to learn how to do the job.

He gets called out at all hours of the day and night to investigate or help investigate murders, suicides and accidents. He does it out of duty and because he knows someone cares about the victims.

"There's not anything we can do to bring the person back," Williams said. "But we do everything we possibly can to try and help the family."

He says the hardest part of the job is notifying a family "that has no earthly idea that something has happened."

Chester Coroner Terry Tinker said Williams has a compassionate way of treating people, which inspires trust from families in their worst moments.

"If it weren't for him," Tinker said, "I don't know what we would have done, what I would have done. He's been a blessing to me."

He seems to be a blessing to all of Chester County.

IN SUMMARY

Tommy Williams, Chester County's chief deputy coroner, recently became the first recipient of the deputy coroner's award from the South Carolina Coroner's Association.

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