Tragedy twice struck Smyth County on Thursday, claiming the lives of a Saltville toddler and a Chilhowie man in two separate incidents.
Interim Saltville Police Chief Erik Puckett said officers responded to a residence on Sycamore Road in Saltville after a toddler, later identified as 2-year-old Alyssa Noel Huffman, was struck by a golf cart.
According to a search warrant filed Friday at the Smyth County Courthouse, the child’s father, Matthew Huffman, told police that the golf cart began rolling on its own, striking him in the leg before it ran over top of the toddler. He told investigators that he had to move the golf cart off top of his daughter before taking her inside the home to wait on first responders.
Alyssa Huffman was transported to Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon, where Puckett said she passed away an hour after the incident.
Further details about the investigation are not being released at this time. The Smyth County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police are assisting in the investigation, which Puckett expects to wrap up over the weekend.
According to her obituary, Alyssa Huffman would have been 3 years old Nov. 6.
Washington County authorities said an apparent farming accident took the life of a Chilhowie man later that evening.
According to a statement from Sheriff Fred Newman, 30-year-old William Clinton Walker’s body was discovered in an open field on a farm off Mill Creek Road around 2 a.m. Friday.
An investigation concluded that sometime after 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Walker stepped out of the farm-use vehicle he was operating and was run over by the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Walker was a teacher at Chilhowie High School and a former Junior Varsity basketball and football coach for the Warriors
Walker leaves behind his wife, Ashley, and their newborn daughter, Emery.