An 18-year-old Arlington man who had just finished basic training in the U.S. Army was killed Tuesday in a freak accident when he was struck by a car and fell off a highway overpass just miles from his home.
Clinton Young, a 2010 graduate of Martin High School, died when he fell 60 to 70 feet off Highway 287 onto Loop 820 in southeast Fort Worth.
He had stopped along the bridge after his car was side-swiped by a van in a hit-and-run crash, police said. While he was standing near his parked car on the side of the highway, another vehicle then hit him, forcing him over the bridge.
“This is the last thing you ever expect,” said his stepmother, Ruby Young. “It was a minor traffic accident.”
He called his parents after the first accident, and they arrived at the scene minutes later, soon after he was killed.
Young went straight into boot camp soon after he graduated high school in May, his parents said.
“He wanted to serve his country, and he knew from the time he was very young,” said his father Chris Young. "That's all he talked about. He ate and breathed U.S. Army."
Clinton Young was on his cell phone with his girlfriend as the car approached, his mother said.
“He said, “I have to get off the phone’ and he told her he loved her,” Ruby Young said. “And that was probably the last thing he said.”
He had planned to graduate next month at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and was home for two weeks at Christmas. He planned to become a military police officer and had recently learned his first assignment would be in Germany.
After his death, the Army notified the parents that their son would still be honored during the graduation ceremony, and they said they plan on attending.
"It's going to be hard, but it's what he would want,” his mother said. “It's a way we can honor what he wanted to do with his life."
Young will be buried at DFW National Cemetery in Grand Prairie on Thursday at 3 pm. Viewing will be Wednesday from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Moore funeral home on North Davis Street in Arlington.