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WV: Volusia deputy killed in W.Va. accident

November 27, 2009

Volusia deputy killed in W.Va. accident

Those who knew him best said Juan Santiago-Colon was a prince of a guy and a great public servant who did his job with pride.

The 47-year-old Volusia County sheriff's deputy and father of three from Deltona died Tuesday while on a hunting trip in Ronceverte, W.Va., when one of his sons accidentally ran over him, sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson said.

"This was an incredibly tragic death that has us all in deep shock and sadness," he said Thursday.

Santiago-Colon, a Navy veteran, was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and worked the past 10 years for the Sheriff's Office.

"He was truly one of the good guys. He was always smiling, always positive. He got along with everyone he met," Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said. "He worked the road, he worked as a school resource officer and security at the (DeLand) courthouse." Investigators in West Virginia reported to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office that Santiago-Colon asked one of his twin 10-year-old sons to move his truck forward, but instead the boy accidentally put the truck in reverse and ran over his father, Davidson said.

The deputy was taken to the Greenbrier Valley Medical Center where he was pronounced dead by the Greenbrier County Medical Examiner.

Santiago-Colon is survived by his mother, Aida, whom he lived with; 10-year-old twins Hunter and Cruz and 5-year-old Seth who live with their mother in Palm Coast; a brother, Martin, El Paso, Texas; and a sister, Marilyn, Caguas, Puerto Rico.

"I've talked to his mother and she's obviously devastated," Johnson said.

Friends from Deltona Lakes Baptist Church have been in contact with Johnson, he said, and shared kind words and condolences since hearing the news.

"I've (also) talked to a lot of the people he worked with, and everyone feels very low about this whole thing," Johnson said. "We've lost one of (our) family."

Baldauff Family Funeral Home and Crematory, 1233 Saxon Blvd., Deltona, is in charge of arrangements. Visitation is from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, with the funeral immediately following and an honor guard from the Sheriff's Office.

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