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Wet road a factor in fatal wreck in Hatton

By Seth Burkett · 340-2355

HATTON — A Moulton man died when his car apparently hydroplaned and collided with an oncoming dump truck Friday morning.

Clint Blankenship said his son, Joshua Clint Blankenship, 21, a scaffold-builder for BE&K, was returning home after work was canceled because of rain.

"He had went to work, and it was raining and it had rained them out," Blankenship said. "My nephew worked with him, and he took my nephew home and then he started home and lost control of his car on the wet road and a dump truck hit him."

Lawrence County Deputy Coroner Harry Sizemore said Joshua Blankenship was traveling south on Alabama 101 in a heavy downpour at about 9:35 a.m.

"According to witnesses, he probably hydroplaned and he was skidding sideways ...," Sizemore said. "The man driving the truck said he was skidding toward him and he hit him in the passenger side. It was not head-on, per se."

Sizemore said blunt force trauma to the head and chest killed Blankenship instantly. Firefighters used an extraction device to remove his body from the crushed vehicle.

The driver of the Department of Transportation dump truck, Patrick Sharpley, 45, of Moulton, was also injured in the collision, state troopers said.

Sharpley's condition was not immediately available.

Clint Blankenship said his son was engaged and his fiancée, Cassie Lehey of Moulton, is 26 weeks pregnant.

Blankenship said his son lived with him in the Youngtown Community and they spent a great deal of time together.

"He liked four-wheeler racing and whatever I was doing. It didn't matter if I was out mowing the yard or working on vehicles, he wanted to help," Blankenship said.

"He was just a good, joyful kid," Clint Blankenship said. "He enjoyed life and always had a smile on his face. If you were around him, you couldn't help but smile."

Joshua Blankenship is also survived by his mother, Sandra Hyde of Moulton, his older sister, Kandis Browett, and his younger brother, Robert.

Funeral for Blankenship will be Sunday at 2 p.m. at Union Hill Missionary Baptist Church with burial in Union Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 6 to 8 at Lawrence Funeral Home.

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