Construction owner relives pain of son's death after employee killed in work zone on DIP


    Construction owner relives pain of son's death after employee killed in work zone on DIP (WPMI)

    A construction employee working to resurface our roads was hit and killed Wednesday morning on Dauphin Island Parkway.

    40-year-old Clay Crutcher was struck and killed while working in a construction zone blocked off by orange cones and flashing lights.

    Mobile police officials tell NBC 15 the car that hit Crutcher belongs to Bishop State Community College. The vehicle was traveling southbound on DIP, in the work zone, when the driver hit Crutcher.

    Crutcher was working for John G. Walton Construction Company.

    John G. Walton owners Kathy and Johnny Walton say Crutcher just proposed to his fiancé.

    This tragedy hits home for their family. Kathy and Johnny’s son was killed in a construction work zone, hit by a driver, just like Crutcher was Wednesday morning.

    “Every worker is someone’s’ loved one and it’s not fair,” Kathy said.

    Four years ago, Kathy and Johnny’s world was taken away from them. Their 25-year-old son Marshall Walton was struck and killed in a construction zone by a distracted driver. Learning that news was the hardest thing a parent could go through.

    “It’s too difficult to bear really,” Johnny said.

    Wednesday, the Walton’s went through this pain again with their employee Clay Crutcher’s family.

    “To lose two employees this way is just unconscionable,” Johnny said.

    The Walton’s fought to change state law after Marshall’s death.

    In 2017, Governor Kay Ivey signed the Marshall James Walton Highway Safety Act making vehicular homicide a class c felony punishable with one to 9 years in prison.

    “We were hoping with the passage of this law it would deter accidents like this,” Johnny said, adding “Something has got to happen to keep these accidents form happening.”

    The Walton’s and Crutcher’s co-workers are begging drivers to pay attention to orange cones and flashing lights in work zones.

    “Everyone’s in such a hurry, no one thinks about the workers on the side of the road until it happens to a family member or a friend,” Kathy said.

    The Walton’s hope their story, losing family and a now a longtime employee and friend, will get drivers to look up and value the lives of road workers.

    “The traveling public has got to start to respecting these work zones they’ve got to or more people will die, it’s tragic,” Jonny said.

    The construction crew working with Clay Crutcher Wednesday morning was the same crew working with Marshall the day he was killed four years ago.

    Mobile Police say the preliminary investigation into Crutcher’s death has determined that drug, alcohol impairment and speed were not factors.

    No charges have been filed at this time, however this is an ongoing investigation.

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