Brooksville man killed in Arkansas dust storm

- The vice president of a Brooksville electrical company was killed Sunday afternoon when his car crashed in the middle of a dust storm in Arkansas.

Benjamin Brantley, the VP of Industrial Electrical Services, based on Old Cobb Road was 50-years-old.

He helped launch the company in 1978.

Five of his family members ran the company.

"We can kind of looked at Ben as the big Teddy Bear," said his sister-in-law Krystal Berg. "He's the softy."

Brantley called his wife, Kim, as he headed for his motel in Arkansas on Sunday.

The storm swept in.

"She heard a bang, and Ben said, 'Oh no, I think I have hit the car in front of me.' She heard a couple of more bangs, and then the phone went dead."

The family believes his truck was rear-ended by a semi.

Kim frantically called area hospitals until a doctor said he'd died at the scene.

"(The doctor told her), 'No ma’am, I am sorry, I have his driver’s license here in my hand.'"

He leaves behind his wife and their two daughters, Danielle, 21, and Kaylin, 16.

"I said, 'Honey, I would love to tell you I know how you feel. I'd love to tell you it's going to get easier, but I would be lying to you, and I am not going to do that,'" said Berg.

On Tuesday, the family will drive the half-day trip to Arkansas to collect his personal belongings from his motel.

"You always think that it is going to happen to somebody else and not to you," said Berg. "But in reality, you don't know."

They also promise to finish the work on the job Brantley started, because that's just what they do.

"Ben would want us to make sure that we finish this project," said Berg.

Aside from his family and his work, Brantley loved bowling and was a graduate of Hernando High School.

Family expects to have a memorial service in the coming weeks.

He is the only victim to have died in that five car crash.

Up Next:

Up Next

  • Brooksville man killed in Arkansas dust storm
  • Lakeland veterinarian, husband face animal cruelty charges
  • Manhattan Casino restaurant draws more opposition
  • Former TPD sergeant takes plea deal in fraud case
  • Ringling Bros. train car 57 gets permanent home in Seffner
  • Travel agents troubled by Mexico travel advisory
  • St. Pete teens weigh-in on teen car theft 'epidemic'
  • Firearms stolen, elderly person injured during home invasion
  • Trop game reborn as 'Gasparilla Bowl'
  • Old Tampa Tribune site becoming luxury apartments