Smiths Station dump truck driver, drowning victim identified

Dive teams searched for Arnold Franklin, Jr. from Smiths Station after his dump truck flipped into a pond off Uchee Creek Hwy.
Dive teams searched for Arnold Franklin, Jr. from Smiths Station after his dump truck flipped into a pond off Uchee Creek Hwy.

PHENIX CITY, Ala. — The Russell County Coroner’s Office confirms to News 3 it appears a Smiths Station man accidentally drowned, after the dump truck he was driving flipped over into a pond.

Russell County fire and EMS crews responded to the scene off Uchee Hill Highway where the truck went into the water. Russell County EMA Director Bob Franklin says the truck appears to have been backing up to dump a load of dirt when it slid off the bank.

Franklin says as the truck slid further down, it flipped onto its side and the entire vehicle was submerged. The Russell County Dive Team searched the cab and found the driver after several minutes.

The coroner’s office identified the driver as Arnold Franklin. They say Franklin, 65, will head to Montgomery for an autopsy.

Emergency responders say the call for the accident came in at about 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

This is a developing story. Stay with News 3 for updates.

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