State trooper dies after ‘lengthy battle’ with coronavirus, NC highway patrol says

Sergeant Timothy “Lee” Howell of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol died Thursday in Chapel Hill after a “lengthy battle with COVID-19,” officials said. 

Sergeant Timothy “Lee” Howell of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol died Thursday in Chapel Hill after a “lengthy battle with COVID-19,” officers stated. 

North Carolina State Highway Patrol

A state trooper and firefighter in North Carolina died Thursday after a months-long battle with the coronavirus, officers stated.

Timothy “Lee” Howell labored for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and the Sandy Bottom Fire Department in jap North Carolina, based on statements launched on Facebook. He died at 2:39 p.m. at UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill, Colonel Glenn M. McNeill stated.

“It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of First Sergeant Timothy ‘Lee’ Howell (A911) after a courageous, lengthy battle with COVID-19,” McNeill wrote in an announcement posted on the state highway patrol’s Facebook web page.

Howell was assigned to the Motor Carrier Enforcement Unit for Troop A in Greenville, based on the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office. He was additionally well-known amongst residents of Sandy Bottom in Lenoir County, the fireplace division stated.

“Lee joined the Sandy Bottom Fire Department in order to help us better serve his community and his passion for the fire service grew instantaneously as showed in his willingness and passion for learning,” Sandy Bottom Volunteer Fire and Rescue stated in an announcement on Facebook.

According to the state highway patrol, Howell is survived by his mom Burma Howell, daughters Bailey Owens and Olivia Howell, brother Lynn Howell and girlfriend Krystal Westbrook.

Westbrook, who goes by Krystal Gray on Facebook, posted near-daily updates after Howell was admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 in mid-November. He was put on a ventilator Dec. 1 and transferred to UNC simply earlier than Christmas, she wrote. Westbrook described the times main as much as his demise as “stressful” and “horrendous.”

At 2:39 p.m. my best boy went to be with our Lord and his daddy,” she stated in a Facebook submit Thursday. “Our hearts are absolutely broken. We will absolutely never be the same.”

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Hayley Fowler is a reporter at The Charlotte Observer masking breaking and real-time information throughout North and South Carolina. She has a journalism diploma from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and beforehand labored as a authorized reporter in New York City earlier than becoming a member of the Observer in 2019.

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