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Alexandria lineman dies while responding to storm damage

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layton ellison

Alexandria graduate Layton River Ellison is described by friends as having a stand-out personality. The 19-year-old died near Hueytown late Tuesday morning while working as a lineman for Pike Electric. Funeral arrangements are forthcoming from Anniston Memorial Funeral Home. (provided photo)

An Alexandria man, Layton River Ellison, 19, was killed shortly before noon on Tuesday morning when he and another lineman responded to a downed power line in the Adger community near Hueytown. They were helping restore power after Hurricane Ida’s winds affected the Gulf and continued its path through Alabama.

Ellison was a well-known athlete at Alexandria High School in football and baseball, having played for the all-county baseball team in 2018-2020 and all-county football team in 2019 and 2020.

“He was a special person,” said Michelle Guthrie Price, his fourth-grade teacher at Alexandria Elementary School. “He could light up a room with his smile, and he was so smart and sweet. He attracted people to him and had a stand-out personality.”

Price is an Alexandria resident who now works at Wellborn Elementary School.

Recently, while working in her yard, Ellison and a friend stopped by to visit with her.

“He said how special I was to him as a teacher,” she said.

Ellison’s uncle, Paul Ellison, said his close-knit family is devastated. His nephew was raised by his grandmother, Trudy Hardegree, and his father, Daniel Ellison. Layton has an older sister, Madison Wagoner.

“Layton thought about the job of becoming a lineman three or four months before he accepted the job,” Paul said. “He took the job and was hoping to make a career out of it. We had our concerns and talked to him about them, but no one can live their life scared. However, our worst fears have come true.”

Ellison worked for the Pike Electric, that contracts for Alabama Power. He and another 19-year-old, Eli Nathaniel Babb of Kellyton, died at the scene.

James Banner, the senior vice president at Pike Electric, issued a statement about a continuing investigation into the accident. He, and a spokesman for the power company, expressed sympathy to the families affected by the tragedy.

The funeral will be conducted by the staff at Anniston Memorial Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. Thursday at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Alexandria and the funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Friday at the church.