Joe Clayton, brother of Jim and co-founder of Clayton Homes died Monday evening following a helicopter crash into the Tennessee River, near Knoxville.
According to KnoxNews.com Joe and Jim Clayton were traveling with Jim’s grandson Flynt Griffin and friend and fellow businessman John McBride when their helicopter went down near West Knoxville’s Sequoyah Hills.
The crash reportedly occurred at 7:40 p.m. Griffin, McBride and (Jim) Clayton survived the crash and were rescued by a pontoon boat. Within minutes emergency crews were assembled and began looking for the fourth victim, Joe. His body was reportedly recovered from the river just two hours later, around 9:45.
The Clayton brothers are no strangers to Henderson and Chester County – they grew up in Finger, just a few miles away. As adults, they became well-known businessmen for successful business ventures such as Clayton Homes and Clayton Bank, as well as numerous local charitable contributions.
Many details surrounding the crash have not yet been released, and it is uncertain whether any causes or contributing factors have been determined. At this time, the crash is reportedly under investigation.