Colbert Co. coroner killed in 'horrific' accident - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Colbert Co. coroner killed in 'horrific' accident

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)

Colbert County coroner Carlton Utley is dead following an accident in Florence at the intersection of Irvine Avenue and Seminary Street on Monday afternoon.

Police say Utley was dropped off by a family member driving a truck at the intersection of Tombigbee Street and Court Street. The truck was also pulling a trailer.

Police say Utley somehow became stuck between the truck and trailer as the vehicle pulled away. He was dragged nearly half a mile before a passerby flagged down the driver of the truck.

Utley was pronounced dead at the scene.

"There is just no way to describe some of these circumstances and situations like this. Its a horrific accident and our heart goes out to the Utley family and this whole community and we share their pain and our thoughts and prayers are with them," said Florence Police Chief Ron Tyler.

Utley was serving his second term as the county coroner. He was also an assistant fire chief for Spring Valley, a paramedic for Keller Ambulance Services and a husband and father.

"It is an awful tragedy," said Colbert County administrator Kathy Polk. "Our payers and thoughts are with his family. He was great at his job. This is a big loss to the county."

Polk said a probate judge will appoint an interim coroner until Gov. Kay Ivey selects someone for the job.

The accident is still under investigation.

"The family is just very torn up and very upset and are requesting privacy. And a lot of people know this family, they are aware of them and they just needed a few days to mourn. It is just very hard to explain, or inexplicable when you look at a scene like this, and you wonder why did something like this happen, how does it happen, is it preventable? All of those questions we can ask at a later time," Tyler said.

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