FAIRFIELD, Ala. — A former Marine and combat veteran who was killed when he ran into traffic on Interstate-20 had Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and he thought he was under attack when it happened, his mother says.
The Jefferson County coroner's office says Samuel Wayton, 27, of Bessemer, Alabama, died Friday near Fairfield, according to multiple news organzations.
Wayton's mother, Clair Wayton, told WBRC her son returned from fighting overseas 10 months ago. She said he had been hit with an IED and developed traumatic brain injury and PTSD.
She said her son was traveling with his girlfriend on I-20 Friday morning when they heard the loud noise of an 18-wheeler's brakes.
She said her son became erratic and when his girlfriend pulled over in an effort to help calm him down, he said, "They're shooting on us -- get down."
Wayton then jumped out of the car, ran into oncoming traffic and was killed by another vehicle.
His mother praised Wayton's service Monday, telling the station he had earned two Purple Hearts and met two U.S. presidents during the time he served.