Statement regarding aircraft accident

Members of the Clayton family are deeply saddened by the loss of businessman Joe Clayton, the beloved cofounder of Clayton Automobiles and Clayton Homes, who lost his life in an aircraft accident late Monday evening. Others on board the aircraft were his brother, Jim Clayton; Jim’s grandson, Flynt Griffin; and Jay McBride, a friend and local businessman, all of whom survived the accident and did not require medical attention.

“I am devastated and completely heartbroken by the loss of my wonderful brother, Joe,” Jim Clayton said. “Joe and I were as close as two brothers can be, and, as only siblings, we have supported each other since growing up together on a farm in West Tennessee and as business partners for decades. My thoughts and concerns are totally for Joe’s family right now.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the accident, and Jim Clayton said he is cooperating fully with the agencies and will not make any statements regarding the accident at this time.

“I am very grateful to the emergency personnel who responded so quickly and professionally and to the caring couple on a nearby boat who gave assistance,” Jim Clayton said.