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Family of fallen Lake Mills firefighter honors his selflessness and bravery

LAKE MILLS (WKOW) — The fiancée of the Lake Mills firefighter hit and killed after he pulled over to help a driver following a crash on the Beltline wants her community and all of Wisconsin to remember the man she loved as a hero.

Capt. Chris Truman, 43, was a 13-year veteran on the Lake Mills Fire Department. His fiance, Amber Turfle said he lived to help others.

“If we were driving down the street and he saw the shingles coming off your roof, he would stop and tell you,” she said.

That’s why Turfle said so many people in Lake Mills and beyond loved him.

“I didn’t realize just how many until this happened,” she said.

Turfle said she fell in love with the man herself after he kept stopping by her checkout counter before they met.

“Just over time we would talk and then I noticed he would start fidgiting with whatever was in his hands and come to find out he was coming to buy milk and freezing it just so he could come see me,” she said.

The two have been dating for the past 10 years.

“You were my soulmate and I’ll never find anyone as good as you,” Turfle said.

In that time, he became a father to her children, like Taylor Turfle.

“He was always there for me and he was always helping me through life,” she said. “I definitely am the person I am today because of him.”

But through it all, Amber Turfle said Truman’s drive to serve was at the center of everything he did. That meant he always had to stop for anyone in need.

“He said, ‘That’s who I am. That’s what I do honey. I’m sorry we’ve gotta stop.’” she said.

Truman gave his final act of selflessness Monday night. He stopped to help a driver who had crashed on the beltline near Monona during a snowstorm. He was hit and killed by a suspected drunk driver.

“He once said to me, “Honey, I just want to be remembered as a hero,” Turfle said. “And he got his wish. It’s not that he did the good that he did to be a hero, that’s just who he was.”

Now after a lifetime of giving, Turfle said she’s struggling to understand why someone would take his life.

“Although he died for a great reason, I just want him back and this pain is going to last forever,” she said. “It took a huge chunk from my family and our community and just double think your decisions.”

Wednesday, Truman’s body was brought to Claussen’s funeral home in a procession. His colleagues in uniform were there to honor him.

WQOW Staff

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