Former Troy firefighter dies in wreck

Published 9:41 am Friday, January 1, 2016

A retired Troy firefighter was killed in a one-vehicle crash early Friday.

Ralph Edward “Buddy” Fowee II, 58, of Troy was killed around 1 a.m. when the pickup truck he was driving left the roadway and hit a tree.

Fowee was pronounced dead at the scene, said Pike County Coroner Jerry Williams.

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“It appears he was headed south on Highway 87 and lost control, went across the northbound lane and hit the tree,” said Williams. The accident occurred near mile marker 52 and is under investigation by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

Williams said Fowee will be missed by many people throughout Troy and Pike County, from first responders to longtime friends who met him for coffee each morning at 4 a.m.

“Buddy had retired from the Troy Fire Department and had been working with the Pike County school system,” Williams said. “He was brilliant when it came to electronics and things like that.”

Ray Sullivan was one of Fowee’s coffee club friends. “Buddy was a good man,” Sullivan said. “He was very intelligent, very helpful and would do anything for any body.

“Earlier this week he spent part of the night in Elba, helping people.”

Dr. Mark Bazell, superintendent of Pike County Schools, said Fowee had worked with the district as both a bus driver and as a technology assistant.

“This is terrible, terrible news,” Bazzell said. “He was really a good guy and was well-liked by everybody.”

Bazzell said he had known Fowee for many years. “He was a real asset to us and to the community,” he said.

Chief Thomas Outlaw worked closely with Fowee at the Troy Fire Department. “He worked with us 30-plus years before he retired,” Outlaw said. “He worked his way up from firefighter to captain. He was very knowledgeable.”

Outlaw said firefighters who had worked with Fowee were deeply sadden on Friday. “Anytime you lose someone you’ve worked around and known for so long it’s sad,” he said.