Christmas didn’t come for the Webber family this year. Just days before the celebration, Michael J. Webber died on a logging road in Capitol Forest when his log truck collided with a tree stump.
The Washington State Patrol said Webber, 37, was heading northbound on a logging road a mile south of State Route 8 in the Capitol Forest in Thurston County when, for some reason, he missed a curve and left the road around 2:30 p.m. Dec. 23. He was not wearing his seat belt, a State Patrol memo stated.
Family members said they were told Webber was killed instantly when his truck struck a tree and a stump.
Chanel Webber, 18, of South Bend, said her last conversation with her father was Dec. 10.
“I just wanted a day with him and me just hanging out,” she said. “That didn’t happen.”
A 1995 graduate of Hoquiam High School, Webber also served as a volunteer firefighter with the Copalis Crossing fire district. He lived in Hoquiam and recently completed the fire academy training.
Chief Jodi Hartle sent prayers and condolences via Facebook.
“Brothers and Sisters, today our hearts are heavy as we take a moment to honor and remember a member of our fire family, Mike Webber. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. You will always be with us 8292,” she wrote.
“He loves to spend time with family,” Chanel Webber said.
Things weren’t always easy between them, but they were trying to build a better relationship.
“It’s been hitting me, but when I want to cry I can’t,” she said. “It kind of cancels my Christmas.”
Still, she’ll try to focus on the happy times as she learns to look back on her father’s memory. Chanel said it was always a challenge on Christmas to get her dad out of bed and joining the festivities.
“We would take a big huge bucket of water and dump it on him,” she recalled with a smile.
When he stormed out of his bedroom to his crowd of relatives, “everyone was just laughing because he’s drenched.”
Webber is survived by daughter Chanel, and sons Austin, Jay, Devin and Jayce. The cause of the accident is under investigation.