2 men killed in separate car accidents Friday
by Matt Quillen
Nov 12, 2011 | 7597 views |  0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two Sylacauga men, Joe Duck and John Douglas Smith Jr., died Friday in separate car accidents.

Duck, a former U.S. naval aviator during the World War II era, died on his way to Sylacauga’s Veterans Day ceremony.

Police Capt. Chris Carden said Duck, 90, likely died on impact when his car was struck by another vehicle about 9:30 a.m. on U.S. 280. Duck’s brother and fellow veteran, Robert Duck, suffered injuries in the wreck and was airlifted to University Hospital in Birmingham.

Carden said Duck’s car collided with a vehicle traveling in the westbound lane as he attempted to cross from the Park Street intersection. The woman driving the other vehicle was checked out by medical staff on the scene, but did not appear to have any serious injuries.

The crash happened less than a mile from Pinecrest Veterans Park, where the day’s ceremony took place.

Members of American Legion Post 45 said Duck had been the longest tenured member, at 49 years.

Duck was first inducted into the Navy on Dec. 15, 1942 and was relieved of duty Dec. 30, 1945. He graduated from Pensacola Air Station, and served with the VS 681st Anti-Submarine Squadron Reserve Unit from 1946-1958.

Duck’s wife, Betty, died earlier this year. The two were married for more than 60 years.

Smith, 66, suffered fatal injuries in a two-vehicle accident on U.S. 280 in Oak Grove.

Smith’s 2003 Nissan Frontier collided with a 1996 Ford Ranger, according to information from the Alabama Department of Public Safety.

The department said the driver of the other vehicle, Robert Duncan of Childersburg, was not injured.

Contact Matt Quillen at mquillen@dailyhome.com.