Coroner pronounced dead near Commons after tragic accident

Earlier today, Colbert County coroner Carlton Utley died in a vehicle-related accident that ended beside the Commons parking lot on Irvine Avenue.

Officers at the scene said the accident began after a relative dropped Utley off at the intersection of Court Street and Tombigbee Street, but became trapped between the truck and its utility trailer after it took off.

The driver was apparently unaware of Utley being under the trailer, but was eventually flagged down by a passerby at the intersection of Seminary Street and Irvine Avenue.

In total, the vehicle dragged Utley for nearly half a mile before he was pronounced dead at the scene on the intersection.

Florence Police Chief Ron Tyler estimated the accident occurred between 12:15 and 12:20 p.m.

The Florence Police Department posted on their Facebook page about the incident, expressing their sorrow for the Utley family.

“Our hearts are heavy,” it said. “We regret to inform you that Colbert Co. Coroner Carlton Utley is the victim of this tragic accident. Our prayers are with the Utley family.”

Police blocked off the stretch between both intersections, staying at the scene into the afternoon.