The immediate aftermath of a family death is not the time for politics; industry or otherwise. The report that follows is from a range of sources that reported on August 4, 2020 that “Millionaire entrepreneur…Jim Clayton, his brother and business partner Joe Clayton, a Clayton grandson and a family friend were aboard the helicopter that crashed Monday night into Fort Loudoun Lake,” according to WBIR News 10 out of Knoxville. The accident apparently took place near James “Jim” Clayton‘s home.
“Authorities say Jim Clayton, who also was a pilot, grandson Flynt Griffin along with developer and arts supporter Jay McBride were able to swim to help after the Eurocopter EC-130 chopper went down about 7:40 p.m. Monday night,” according to WBIR.
Jim Clayton‘s brother and longtime business partner Joe Clayton died in the crash Monday evening, 8.3.2020. The survivors didn’t require medical attention, per mainstream media sources.
“I am devastated and completely heartbroken by the loss of my wonderful brother, Joe,” Jim Clayton said. “Joe and I were as close as two brothers can be, and, as only siblings, we have supported each other since growing up together on a farm in West Tennessee and as business partners for decades. My thoughts and concerns are totally for Joe’s family right now.” That per WRCBTV NBC 3.
According to reports, authorities haven’t stated who was flying the helicopter. The helicopter was registered to CFA Holdings Inc. at a Knoxville address that has ties to Clayton interests. Clayton had a helipad along the lake near his hillside Lake View Drive home that he used for easy access, said WRCB.
However, the video above has an audio clip of a 911 call that appears to have a neighbor watching the incident saying “Oh, God! Jim Clayton just crashed his helicopter out here. Mr. Clayton just crashed his helicopter. He’s out of it right now, though, oh good God.”
WVLT reports that 911 dialogue this way, “Oh, God! Jim Clayton’s helicopter is out here, he’s out of it right now. My husband is going to get him out on the boat if he can.” Readers can listen for themselves.
“I saw someone surface, the thing broke apart in a million pieces. Oh God! We were watching the whole thing,” said another 911 caller, identified as ‘the first’ caller, per WVLT.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are reportedly both investigating the crash, as WBIR said that neither Jim nor Joe Clayton were certified for flyting that specific aircraft, meaning, the Clayton helicopter that crashed. An NTSB statement indicated that it is unclear if the helicopter was departing or landing. However, another eyewitness in the video posted above makes it sound like Clayton was trying to land.
Former president of Clayton Homes among 3 survivors of Monday night’s deadly helicopter crash in TN River. Survivors identified as James Clayton, John McBride, Flynt Griffin, according to KPD report. The person who died has not been identified. @wvlt https://t.co/k3btQHfbGA pic.twitter.com/b81MLMXaxY
— Amanda Hara (@AmandaHara) August 4, 2020
MHProNews will plan to monitor the investigation and related reports.
Jim Clayton said he is cooperating fully with the crash investigation.
MHProNews extends its condolences to all those impacted by this loss. May Joe Clayton rest in peace.
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By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing.
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