Colbert Co. coroner remembered for legacy of community service - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Colbert Co. coroner remembered for legacy of community service

Carlton Utley (Source: WAFF) Carlton Utley (Source: WAFF)
COLBERT COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

Colbert County Coroner Carlton Utley died tragically in what police are calling a "horrific traffic accident." He was pinned beneath a trailer while a family member - without knowing it - drove several blocks.

READ MORE: Colbert Co. coroner killed in 'horrific' accident

Utley leaves behind a legacy of community service. He became a firefighter right out of high school serving Colbert County for more than 20 years. The department plans to keep his cubby hole open in memory of him.

"He was an outgoing man, a loving man,” said Spring Valley Volunteer Fire Department Chief Keith Reaves. “He would give the shirt off his back if he had to. He helped anyone in need. He pretty much did a lot of things for a lot of people."

In addition to serving as county coroner and Spring Valley Assistant Fire Chief, he was also a paramedic.

"We are kind of have a loss for words,” Reaves said. “We understand what happened cause of what we do, but it’s hard to comprehend when it's someone you know and love."

Reaves described Utley as a brother. Many of the firefighters said they'll remember Utley as someone who was genuine, liked cracking jokes, wore suspenders and cared deeply for his community.

"The only thing that I know is that we'll just band together around the family and be there for them and help each other out just like we've always done," Reaves said.

One of Utley’s favorite holidays was the Fourth of July. The family owns two discount firework stands near Woodward Avenue and 72, so during this busy time the department will be manning the stands for the family.

"We told them that we are going to take over from here on those."

The department also plans to do something at the rodeo to remember Utley.

A celebration of Utley's life is set for Saturday.

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