By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Allison Carraway says she has a lot to be thankful for. After suffering the loss of her husband, Florence Police Department Sgt. Terrence Carraway, in a shooting on Oct. 3 last year, Carraway says the outpouring of support and love her family received from the Darlington community moved her deeply.
“I just want Darlington to know how much we appreciate what you did for us, and are still doing for us,” said Carraway.
To show appreciation for this support, Carraway spoke from the heart during last week’s Greater Darlington Chamber of Commerce annual awards banquet, and the family presented first responders and local leaders with tokens of their appreciation.
Darlington Mayor Gloria Hines, Darlington Public Safety Director Kelvin Washington, Anna DeWitt and Dan McManus of the Darlington Rescue Squad and Curtis Boyd of Fitness World accepted custom-made metal insignias representing their agencies and businesses. Carraway had prepared a logo for the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office, but training exercises prevented them from attending the banquet.
Before presenting the gifts, Carraway spoke of her deep Darlington roots, noting that she was born and raised here and is a proud graduate of St. John’s High School.
“Go Blue Devils!” she shouted, raising loud applause from the crowd, which turned to laughter as she reminded them that her husband was a Mayo High School grad. “Yet I married a Golden Bear…we were the epitome of the saying ‘opposites attract.’”
She described Terrence as an outgoing athlete who was quite aware of his own handsomeness, while she has always been more of an introvert and a wallflower.
“And even though there were times that I wanted to bind and gag him, it worked for over twenty-nine years,” said Allison.
Recounting the events of last Oct. 3, she says the day began as a normal Tuesday. Terrence left for work at 6 a.m. (“Late, as usual,” she quipped) and she prepared for a doctor’s appointment. Allison noted that when she departed home, she left her phone on the bed – an innocent mistake that triggered her husband’s mother hen tendencies.
“Terrence and I (usually) talked several times throughout the day, every day, and when I didn’t respond he would freak out and call everybody in the world trying to find me. So when he couldn’t make contact with me that morning, he drove from work in Florence to see what was up. I pulled in the yard and said ‘uh-oh’ when I saw his police car. He came out of the house with his hands on his hips, saying “Now where have you been?” And I immediately said “You missed me!” Allison recalled.
After enduring a lecture about keeping her phone with her at all times – during which Terrence ate all but one bite of Allison’s lunch – she bid her husband goodbye and he headed back to work.
“Little did I know that was the last time that I would see him,” she said.
That day, Sgt. Terrence Carraway was fatally shot while providing backup to officers who came under fire while serving a warrant in the Vintage Place community of Florence. Eight people were wounded, including seven law enforcement officers. Florence County Deputy Farrah Turner was also mortally wounded, and died weeks later.
The tragedy prompted an outpouring of sympathy, with public memorials and numerous services honoring the fallen officers. Carraway said she felt this caring support from the first moment she arrived home after Terrence’s death, and the unstinting backup her family received from the community has touched them.
“Neighbors, friends, even people I didn’t know were coming by just to give me a helping hand,” she said. “I can’t describe the feeling of gratitude that I felt. I felt a warm feeling of God’s grace and His mercy.”