An off-duty Farley Nuclear Plant security officer who was helping set up an area on the grounds for a company picnic was killed Friday afternoon when he tried to secure a large inflatable as it tumbled in a storm.
Assistant Houston County Coroner Ben Earnest said Ronald J. Walsh, 49, of Dothan, was volunteering with a band booster group when the inflatable that looked like a castle came loose from its moorings as a storm passed through.
It began to roll down the hill toward the tents where games were being set up, Earnest said. Walsh, a former Dothan police officer, ran back into it as other volunteers started to scatter and find cover. He died when something struck him in the head.
“What a testament to protect and serve,” Earnest said.
The incident happened between 3 and 3:15 p.m. inside the outer gate but outside the secure area on the nuclear plant’s grounds, Earnest said.
The assistant coroner said Farley hires a company to manage the event and the company pays some of the local band booster groups to help set up the event for employees and their families.
“He’s an employee of Farley but he also has a daughter in the band,” Earnest said.