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County Mourns Loss of Employee

CADIZ — The community of Harrison County continues to mourn the loss of county employee Douglas Crabtree, a man who did it all, according to his peers.

Crabtree was killed in an accident Sept. 11 in the Tippecanoe area.

According to Deputy Sgt. John Thompson Crabtree was pulling in to his driveway on Burkhart Road when a tree fell on his car.

Crabtree called in the incident himself and was then flown by medical helicopter to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was 50.

Crabtree was a county employee for more than 30 years, working as manager for the Harrison County Engineer’s Office, among many other things. At the time of his death, Crabtree was the business service officer at the county engineer’s office.

The day after Crabtree’s funeral, Harrison County Board of Commissioners ended their regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday morning speaking on Crabtree’s efforts. An emotional tribute was given by Commissioner Dale Norris.

“I started in ’82 and Doug started in ’85,” Norris said. “We had a long history together and worked side-by-side. He was noted as a township trustee, he was noted as head of the EMS, he was also with the fire association; not only that, but representing Harrison County in the most positive way, and we’ll miss him.”

Norris and Crabtree previously worked together in the engineer’s office for 20 years, prior to Norris becoming a commissioner.

Commissioner Don Bethel offered condolences to Crabtree’s family.

“It’s a tragic loss for the county,” he added. “I don’t know an enemy that Doug had.”

Chuck Harrah, office tech for the Harrison County Engineer Office, said that Crabtree was not only a co-worker, but also a friend for many years.

“It’s going to create a void, he’s irreplaceable to the county,” Harrah said. “He’s a person that was loved, admired and respected by everyone.

Crabtree spent most of his life with the county’s engineer’s office, Harrah said.

“As a result of his involvement with the engineer’s office, at an early age, he started branching out into emergency service, fire department and all these other civic-minded organizations that do good things. … He was invested in so many different organizations. There’s hardly anything he didn’t know,” he said of Crabtree.

Crabtree was always willing to help, Harrah added, and always went above and beyond.

Hundreds of mourners gathered to pay tribute to Crabtree on Tuesday. Harrah said there was a procession of around 30 fire trucks and emergency vehicles that led Crabtree to his final place of rest at Mount Carmel Church in Tippacanoe.

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