By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Although no official entity had confirmed it by midday Tuesday, the mother of an Atmore trucker who died April 6 while hauling rock in his tractor-trailer rig, said her son was dead before his truck ever made contact with any structure.
The woman, who did not want her name published, said 52-year-old Larry Dean Milliken Jr. died of a heart attack, not as a result of a vehicle crash. She also indicated that online reports by newspapers and television outlets were incorrect, with regard to what happened immediately after her son was stricken by the myocardial infarction.
The official FHP press release shows that the victim was driving his tractor-trailer rig in the North Florida Rock Limited quarry off Vermont Road in Marianna, Fla. around 5:10 p.m. when he was apparently stricken by the unspecified medical emergency.
The report sent to media outlets reflected that after he suffered the emergency, the “front (of Milliken’s vehicle, identified as V01) collided with a building.” The local woman said the tractor-trailer rolled slowly to a stop against a building after her son suffered the fatal heart attack.
But FHP reports reiterate that “V01 (the only vehicle involved in the incident) and its trailer came to final rest at the area of collision with the building…” Milliken, a native of Atmore and a 1986 graduate of Escambia Academy, was pronounced at the scene by Jackson County (Fla.) Fire-Rescue personnel.
A spokesman for FHP said the agency no longer lists the name or names of drivers involved in crashes investigated by state troopers. Only the gender, age, city of residence, type of vehicle, seatbelt (or helmet) use and degree of injury for each driver and passenger, as well as whether or not a victim’s family has been notified at the time the report was filed. A brief narrative is furnished aft the end of the report, with the investigating officer’s summary of the incident.
The Milliken family suffered further misery when the truck driver’s funeral, initially set for April 10, had to be postponed three days due to heavy rains. He was finally laid to rest on April 13 in a Monroe County church cemetery.