An Horry County officer whose last shift included protecting property at the site of the devastating Windsor Green wildfire in Carolina Forest was among those honored Wednesday during a statewide memorial for officers who died in 2013 in the line of duty.
Horry County Sheriff Deputy Tim Causey died May 16, 2013, after being hospitalized since March of that year following a three-night security assignment in the Windsor Green community.
Causey was a 25-year law enforcement veteran and had worked for about two years for the Horry County Sheriff’s Office in the warrant division before his death. Prior to that Causey had worked for the Horry County Police Department and the Mullins Police Department.
Causey was one of three officers recognized Wednesday during a ceremony in Columbia at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.
After working three nights guarding the property at Windsor Green where more than 100 families lost their homes in the fire, Causey was hospitalized at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence for smoke inhalation and acute respiratory failure. He was later transferred to the Medical University of South Carolina.
Doctors at MUSC diagnosed him with the H1N1 virus, a strain of the influenza virus often called swine flu, and put him in a medically induced coma. Causey never woke up.
“Tim was a man of great character. Tim never complained. Tim never asked for anything. He worked,” Sgt. Jeff Benton said at the time of Causey’s death. “I think that showed during the Windsor Green incident.
“He came to work the second night not feeling well. When asked if he wanted to go home he said no. Tim understood that over 100 families lost their home that night and he told me, ‘How can I complain over having a little sinus infection or head cold when people just lost everything they have?’ ”
Causey was survived by his wife, Donna, and two daughters, Sommer and Taylor, who graduated from high school last year.
Causey was buried at Riverside Cemetery.
School Resource Officer Deputy Robert L. Evans of the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office and Deputy Joseph C. Antwine of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office also were honored during Wednesday’s ceremony by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association.
Organizers say the event is a way to remember both officers who have died in the line of duty and also those officers who were still active or retired who died in the last year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.