Dale Woods, a Colerain Township police officer who was critically injured after getting hit by a pickup truck at a crash site on Friday, has died.
On Jan. 4, Woods was directing traffic after responding to a crash on Colerain Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio, when he was run over. He was rushed to the UC Medical Center, where he remained in a critical state until his death.
Colerain Township Police Chief Mark Denney confirmed the news that Woods passed away around 8 p.m. EST Monday. In a news conference, Denney added that Woods was a “cop’s cop” who will always remain and will always be a part of the town’s police department.
Denney became emotional while talking about Woods, who had served the town first as a firefighter and then as a police officer over a span of nearly 30 years. The chief said Woods was a man of a few words and an avid golfer. He was also an organ donor.
“It’s OK to cry. It’s OK to laugh. We did a lot of both this weekend. It will be different,” he said. “Because we are missing a big piece of us without Dale. We will have to find a new normal. Some people you teach to be a cop, others were born to be one. Dale was born to be a cop.”
Woods was a Colerain High School graduate and is survived by his wife and three children.
Although Woods transitioned from a firefighter to an officer 15 years ago, he never lost touch with his old colleagues. “Some of us old timers, we call him Ickey,” said Colerain Fire Battalion Chief, Steve Conn, who worked with Woods in the past, local news outlet WCPO reported. “He’d come in the station. We’d call him Ickey Woods. Occasionally, he’d do the dance for us.”
“What you saw was not always what you got,” Conn added. “He seemed like a quiet guy. But he loved loud heavy metal music. Five Finger Death Punch. Godsmack. He would jump into a mosh [Sic] pit without reservation. He did not act his age.”
Colerain resident Jessica Harmeyer told NBC-affiliated WLWT that Woods helped save uncountable lives as part of an anti-addiction program.
“He drove around to every drug call in Colerain when he could, tried to help them get help, didn’t judge them, didn’t just arrest them, tried to get them into BrightView, which is a local Colerain Township area for addiction,” Harmeyer said. “He would go around with addiction services calls with and tried to help every single one. He’s the most amazing man I have ever met… I know since May, how much he’s impacted my life. In 15 years, he’s probably impacted so many.
However, Woods was not all work. He reportedly pulled a prank on a number of fire stations back in his firefighting days. Woods heard a complaint from one of the stations that it was short on cups and utensils. On the very next shift, the lacking items appeared in the station. However, at the same time, a shortage complaint was filed by another station. The stations found out later, it was Woods who had been moving the items from one station to the other.