Former Atmore resident killed on California highway
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
A U.S. Marine with strong ties to Atmore was struck by a vehicle as he crossed a multi-lane highway in Orange County, Cal. Saturday night, July 13. He reportedly was killed instantly.
According to the Orange County Register, 19-year-old PFC Trace Kenneth Goodwin was struck around 9:30 p.m. (PDT) on Jamboree Road in a Tustin, Cal., business district.
The exact circumstances of Goodwin’s death have not been released, but one source cited Tustin police as the source of a report that the Marine private was in the roadway when he was fatally struck.
Police were continuing their investigation into the death this week and would not comment on whether Goodwin was in a crosswalk or had crossed against a traffic light. Roadway conditions, visibility of signage and traffic control devices, along with road lighting are all possible contributing factors that will be thoroughly examined by police.
Alcohol and drugs do not appear to be a factor in the collision, authorities said.
The young Marine was born in Pensacola but reared in Atmore according to several friends and family members who replied to a Facebook request for information on Goodwin.
According to the sources, his mother, Wendy Marotz; his father, Michael Wayne “Mike” Goodwin; and his brother, Anthony “Tony” Marotz, all currently reside in Pensacola, also.
He has two sisters, Shawna Michelle Goodwin of Pensacola and Helena Thomason of Brewton and is the grandson of Betty Salzer of Pensacola and the late Preston Savol.
Thomason said she and her family were still stunned by the news of Goodwin’s death.
“It’s just all just kind of unreal,” she said.
The serviceman’s uncle, Cyril Savol of Atmore, said his nephew was doing what he had always wanted to do.
“This was so sudden,” Savol said. “But he was doing what he loves. He had wanted to be a Marine since he was 4 years old.”
A family friend, Diana LaShay, said Goodwin would be missed.
“He was very well-mannered,” LaShay said. “We were all so proud of him and the journey he was on.”
Savol said Goodwin attended elementary school in Atmore and completed schooling at Escambia County Middle School before moving to Pensacola, where he graduated from Pine Forest High School. He completed basic training at Parris Island on April 5.
The family was told by USMC officers that Goodwin’s body would be returned to Pensacola in 7 to 10 days for burial with full military honors.
Funeral arrangements were reportedly incomplete as of Tuesday morning, July 16.