IDER, Ala. — A small-town Alabama police chief who died of COVID-19 loved the community he served and regretted his decision against getting vaccinated, his widow said.
Buddy Crabtree, a 10-year veteran of the Ider Police Department in northeastern Alabama, died Saturday of the illness caused by the new coronavirus, news outlets reported. He was often seen inside schools in the town of about 650 people.
“He loved his job and Ider,” widow Kristie Crabtree told WAAY-TV. “He loved the community of Ider, his officers, the school kids.”
Crabtree’s battle with Covid-19 was a surprise to many since he seemed healthy and kept busy. Crabtree said her husband went to Highlands Medical Center in Scottsboro on Oct. 9 and was flown to Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee, 10 days later.
She said her husband said he would’ve got a vaccine, which health officials say prevents nearly all serious cases of COVID-19 and deaths, if he knew how hard he would have to fight to live.
“He actually said, ‘If I get better, I’ll take all three, I don’t ever want to go through this again,’” she said.
Crabtree’s funeral is scheduled for Wednesday.