Current weather

  • Overcast
  • 75°
    Overcast

Community remembers deputy with respect and affection

Posted: Sunday, July 18, 2004

 

Flags at Columbia County facilities, including this one at the Justice Center in Evans, will fly at half-staff until 8 a.m. Thursday.

Photo by Valerie Rowell

Columbia County sheriff's deputies mourned the loss of one of their own Saturday as they buried Cpl. Wesley Mack, 46, who died Monday from injuries he suffered in an accident while working on Interstate 20.

Deputies and sheriff's office employees sheathed their badges in black ribbons in honor of the seven-year department veteran who was struck by an SUV while merging from the median into traffic near the Belair Road exit.

In honor of Mack, friends and co-workers placed a flowered cross on the shoulder of the westbound lane across from the crash site. Flags around the county are flying at half staff until 8 a.m. Thursday.

Fellow deputies collected photos and newspaper articles about Mack and displayed them around the message "God Bless Wesley Mack" on a bulletin board at the Special Operations Division Building in Appling.

And those entering the Evans courthouse were greeted by roses, a Celtic cross and a framed sign remembering Mack made by Ivy Rau.

The recently divorced Mack would have been moving soon into a house he and his fiance and fellow deputy Mary Boseman built together in Euchee Creek. Boseman learned of the accident from another motorcycle deputy and headed to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where she sat next to Mack's bed and held his hand.

 

Friends and coworkers of Columbia County Sheriff's Office Cpl. Wesley Mack placed a flowered memorial to honor him near the westbound lane of Interstate 20 across from where Mack was hit by an SUV July 11.

Photo by Valerie Rowell

"He squeezed my hand twice," Boseman said. "He knew I was there ... I was fortunate enough to be with him. He was and still is here with me and always will be."

Mack was a recently divorced father of two sons, Wesley Jr., 23, who is in the Army and stationed in Germany; and Marcus, 21, who is stationed in San Diego, Calif. with the Navy; and daughters Taiwan, 24, and Christina, 21, both of Augusta. He also has five grandchildren.

A trust fund benefiting his grandchildren has been set up and contributions can be made to: Friends of Wesley Mack Trust Fund, c/o SouthTrust Bank, 4115 Columbia Road, Martinez, GA 30907.

Martinez resident Catherine Taitague said she remembers Mack as being great with teens, who seemed to respect him the way her 14-year-old twin boys did. Every time she saw him, Mack was talking with teens and trying to instill in them that wanting to be cool was OK, but being responsible and cool was better.

"I know from personal experience that my boys respected Mack more than they respected most people," Taiague said. "They listened to him. Not just heard him, but really listened. As for my family, I always thought of him as an angel in disguise."

Mack was often seen on patrol at the Evans 12 Cinemas or directing traffic at Belair Elementary or Evans High schools.

"He was respected by those kids," said Columbia County Deputy Coroner Vernon Collins. "When you saw Wesley out there, you knew you'd better drive with care ... He was well-respected by the kids."

 

Wesley Mack

Special

Like Collins and Taitague, many county residents had stories they remembered last week of Mack.

Heide Martin got to know Mack when she donated part of her West Town gym as a substation, where motorcycles deputies would come in for a drink, a snack or to do paperwork.

"I always hugged Mack and begged for a police story," Martin said. "He returned the hug and told his tales, leaving out names of course."

Even after the gym closed, Mack would make sure to wave and smile when Martin saw him monitoring Washington Road.

"For the guys who are left on the motorcycle patrol, I am still in the habit of driving on Washington Road and looking for my friend Mack," Martin said of the man she described as the epitome of a community cop. "I ask you to get on your Harleys and hold your heads up high and write warnings and tickets for Wesley Mack, that is what he would want.

"Someone once told me that the thunder we hear in the skies are the angels bowling. I now believe that the thunder is Mack starting up his Heavenly Harley and going to give someone a warning up in heaven for flying too fast."



CONTACT US

  • Main: 706-868-1222
  • Fax: 706-823-6062
  • Email: cnt@newstimesonline.com
  • 4272 Washington Rd, Suite 3B, Evans, Ga. 30809

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES