‘He was the rock of the family.’ Mark Crumpler, killed in Route 13 crash, is remembered

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Mark Crumpler holds his newborn son last year.

BY TED SHOCKLEY, Eastern Shore Post

Asia Renee Woolford heard about the crash on U.S. Route 13 and decided to check on her husband.

She telephoned him four times and got no answer. So she drove to the crash site near Mappsville and talked to a police officer, who gave her the news.

“I broke. I just flipped,” said Woolford after hearing her husband, 62-year-old Mark Crumpler, was fatally injured on Sunday, Jan. 1, when police say his motorcycle hit a van that had pulled in his path.

“He was the rock in the family,” she said, two days after his death. “He held everything together.”

An Accomack County man has been cited for reckless driving, among other charges, after the crash that killed Crumpler.

Marco Tulio Ortiz Gonzalez, no age given, of Assawoman, was driving a 2008 Honda Odyssey van southbound on the highway when police say he attempted to make a left turn on Chesser Road.

Gonzalez entered the path of Crumpler’s motorcycle, police said. The vehicles collided, the motorcycle burst into flames, and Crumpler was ejected. He died at the scene.

Gonzalez also faces charges of driving with a suspended license and driving without automobile insurance. 

Crumpler was remembered as a doting father and a dedicated worker.

On the day he died, Crumpler had clocked out from his job at Neal Farms in Hallwood and was driving home. 

“We had lunch as a family with him that day,” said Glenn Neal, who owns Neal Farms of Hallwood. 

During the seven-day-a-week requirements of raising livestock on a farm, “Mark and I spent more time together awake than we did with our spouses.

“There’s just not enough good things to say about him.”

Woolford and Crumpler together had three children, aged 7, 5, and eight months. He also was a stepfather to her three older children.

When their youngest child was born last year with a heart defect, Woolford said Crumpler never left his side and stayed with his young son through recovery from heart surgery.

“He was just a fun, loving person,” said his wife. “He was just the life of the party.”

After the storm that stuck the Eastern Shore, last month Neal and Crumpler climbed atop the Hallwood United Methodist Church to replace shingles — and shared some humor about the deed helping both get “into heaven.”

“He was a good guy,” said Neal. “He was like a brother.”

Woolford reflect on the last time she spoke to her husband.

She stopped by the farm where he worked and they talked. He said he would be home soon.

“I gave him a hug and I left,” she said.

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