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Fatal breakdown

Former resident killed when truck slams into disabled vehicle

Ray Singleton’s truck is at left; Barnes’ truck is at right with tow truck

News Staff Writer

A well-known and respected former Atmore resident was killed in a bizarre mishap that occurred during the predawn hours of Sunday (July 3) when the man’s disabled pickup was struck by another pickup as a wrecker was preparing to tow the first truck from the site of its mechanical breakdown.
According to Alabama State Trooper reports, the fatal incident occurred around 2:40 a.m. near U.S. 31’s 45-mile marker, approximately five miles east of Atmore and near the Canoe community.
Troopers said Ray L. Singleton, 77, who was living in Fort Deposit after having resided in Atmore for many years, was fatally injured when a 2013 Dodge Ram pickup driven by Jimmy E. Barnes, 77, of Panama City, Fla., struck Singleton’s pick up, which “was in the process of being recovered by the wrecker on the shoulder of the roadway.”
According to reports, the collision knocked Singleton’s vehicle into Singleton, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
As news of the tragedy spread, local and area residents remembered Singleton as a man who made it a point to help those in need. He worked at Swift Supply for several years and was known as an expert paint mixer. He was also known to many as “Uncle Ray.”
“This is heartbreaking,” Lacy Ross Pace posted on the Atmore News Facebook page. “He was truly one of a kind. He will be missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing ‘Uncle Ray’.”
Debbie Simmons said she was devastated by the news of Singleton’s death, calling him a “wonderful man” who “went out of his way to help any(one) and everyone.”
Bobby Salter summed up the feelings of most who posted comments on the Atmore News Facebook page.
“What can one say when they lose a close friend?” Salter asked. “When ya lose an awesome person like Uncle Ray Singleton you knew how great of a man he was. We spent so many evenings in the Country Lounge conversing about life, relationships, music …”
He added that people should make time to strengthen relationship bonds before it’s too late.
“We should all make more time for each other, even if it’s just a 5-minute conversation every week, because you never know when those good times will be gone in an instant,” he wrote.
State troopers continued this week their investigation into the fatal crash.