by: Scott McCaulley
The man that helped establish 9-1-1 Emergency Services in Taney County has passed away in a Traffic Accident Wednesday afternoon.
A press release from the City of Branson indicates that 87-year-old David Woolery was the driver of a vehicle that had gone into Lake Taneycomo around 2:00 near the 100 block of River Valley Road. First responders found the vehicle wedged under a private dock. Rescue personnel eventually extricated the driver from the vehicle later identified as Woolery and began emergency life-saving measures. Woolery was taken to Cox Medical Center Branson where he was later pronounced dead.
Officials say the incident is still under investigation though it is believed to be an accidental death.
Woolery was one of the key people organizing and later successfully establishing the 9-1-1 Emergency Phone Service in Taney County and was the first Administrator of the System. Woolery was also active in many other organizations in the Lakes Region including Chairman of the Taney County Airport Board.
Branson Police Chief Jeff Matthews and Fire Chief Ted Martin both offer condolences to Woolery’s family and friends on behalf of all first responders on the scene.
The complete release from the City of Branson is below:
Branson Police received a 911 call on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at approximately 2:00 p.m. regarding a vehicle that had driven into Lake Taneycomo near the 100 block of River Valley Road.
Upon arrival, first responders located a vehicle in the lake, wedged under a private dock. After asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to close the flood gates to slow the water, rescue personnel entered the water, located an elderly male victim inside the vehicle, extricated the victim and initiated emergency life-saving measures. The victim was transported to Cox Hospital Branson where he was pronounced dead.
The victim was identified by the Taney County Coroner as 87-year old David Woolery of Branson. Woolery is credited with starting the 911 emergency phone system in 1991 in Taney County, serving as the first Taney County 911 Administrator.
While this remains an active investigation, investigators believe it was a tragic accident. Both Branson Police Chief Jeff Matthews and Branson Fire Rescue Chief Ted Martin offer condolences to Woolery’s family and friends on behalf of all first responders on the scene.
Along with the Branson Police Department, several other agencies responded to and assisted with this incident including Branson Fire Rescue, Western Taney County Fire Rescue, Taney County Ambulance District and the Missouri Highway Patrol.