Special coroner appointed for Dallas County

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Dallas County has a special coroner.

The appointment of Acting Coroner Alan Dailey to special coroner occurred Saturday. Dallas County Probate Judge Johnny W. Jones Jr. made the appointment after learning of former Dallas County Coroner Franklyn L. Bailey’s death on Friday.

Bailey died while assisting at a traffic accident Friday that resulted in the death of John T. Morgan Academy student Walter Harrison. Bailey died of an apparent heart attack that was unrelated to the accident.

According to Dailey, the position of special coroner is temporary pending an appointment by Gov. Bob Riley. &uot;It’s up to the governor,&uot; Dailey said. &uot;With politics you can’t really assume a lot.&uot;

Dailey served under Bailey as assistant coroner for eight years. He joined the Selma-Dallas County Rescue Squad at 18 and has been a member for 29 years. He gained his basic emergency medical technician license 23 years ago and his intermediate license 21 years ago. Dailey currently works part-time with Haynes Ambulance of Selma.

People may run for the office of coroner in 2006, and Dailey said he might run. &uot;Two years is a long time down the road, but I’d strongly consider it,&uot; he said. &uot;People wonder why someone would want to be a coroner. You do it because it’s necessary. You do it because it has to be done.&uot;

According to Jones, Alabama Code gives the probate judge the authority to appoint a special coroner in specific cases, including the office’s vacancy and the emergency requires an officer. &uot;All we’re doing is filling a vacancy,&uot; Jones said.

Jones added that he didn’t know when Riley would appoint a coroner for Dallas County, but said it would probably occur soon. &uot;This is a special appointment. The governor will make the appointment,&uot; he said.

Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman Jr. declared Dailey acting coroner at the scene of Friday’s accident. Jones noted that until he appointed Dailey special coroner, Huffman served as coroner for about an hour.

No incidents occurred during Huffman’s temporary stint as coroner during his hour of service.