Death News

William Dunham Obituary Second victim from fatal SXSW hit-and-run identified

William Dunham Obituary – William Dunham, aged 34, has been identified as the second victim in the tragic hit-and-run incident that occurred during South by Southwest in downtown Austin on March 12.

The individual who was arrested in connection to the accident is Tyrone Thompson, aged 23. Thompson is accused of driving under the influence, resulting in the deaths of both Dunham and 26-year-old Cody Shelton. While Shelton tragically passed away at the scene, Dunham fought for his life for over a month before succumbing to his injuries last week.

Joan Winter, Will’s mother, described him as a hero and her hero. She reminisced about William, surrounded by scrapbooks and mementos that represented his 34 years of life. Joan created these scrapbooks with the hope that one day he would enjoy them with his own children.

Recalling the moment when Will passed away in the hospital, Joan shared, “They wheeled him out of the room and they put a quilt on him—it says ‘the quilt of life, living on in others.'” This is exactly what Will is doing now, living on in others as an organ donor.

Joan expressed her gratitude, stating, “They called to say that four people’s lives had been saved—I’m just grateful that he could give because that’s what he loved to do.” April is Donate Life Month, a time to raise awareness about the critical importance of organ donation, which is always in high demand.

Chad G. Carroll, the Director of Donate Life Texas, emphasized, “The need is great, and the demand for organs far exceeds the available supply—every donor is incredibly valuable.” Soon, William’s heart will continue to beat in someone else’s chest. Joan expressed her hope that it carries with it his laughter and love. “It somehow feels like we’re able to stay in touch with a part of him that’s living on, so somehow this feels like a beginning too.”

Across the nation, over 100,000 individuals are currently waiting for an organ donation. Shockingly, 44% of Texans are not registered as organ donors. With William’s selfless act of saving four lives through his donations, Joan hopes that his story will inspire everyone to consider becoming an organ donor.

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