DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Hundreds are mourning the death of a longtime firefighter.
Officials say Micah Wakeman died in a farming accident Tuesday morning. Family members say he worked at the fire department for 16 years.
He was known for taking several mission trips to Uganda, working to bring clean water to a children’s home there. He was planning another trip in about a month.
His family says he’s a foster parent to several abused and neglected children, plus four of his own.
Those who knew him are still reeling at the fact his life was taken by a freak accident. It happened in rural Logan County. Our news partners at the Herald and Review reported the coroner says Wakeman’s tractor rolled over and pinned him under it. A friend found him later.
Wakeman’s cousin says it doesn’t make sense.
“I look at it now as it was an unfortunate accident. There’s no other way to look at it,” says Jason Carder. “Me and him, we started driving tractors when we were 12 or 13 years old. We drove tractors to and from the farms before we even had driver’s licenses. So it’s not like he didn’t know what he was doing on a tractor.”
“One of the nicest guys you’d ever live to meet. He did everything he could for anybody and put himself last. That’s just the way he was.”
News of his death spread to Uganda just as quickly as it did here. The children’s home he worked with expressed its grief on social media and posted about his legacy.
In addition to all of his other roles, Decatur Fire officials says Wakeman also taught Sunday school and was the director of Mt. Pulaski E.M.S. The full fire department honor guard will be at Wakeman’s funeral.
Visitation and services will be next week. A memorial fund has been set up in his honor.