2 people hit and killed by car while mowing lawn in East Alabama

VALLEY, Alabama (WRBL) – Valley Police are releasing the names of two victims who were struck and killed by a car this week while cutting grass with a work crew along I-85. They are also releasing the name of a third victim who is currently recovering in the hospital.

On Monday at 6:19 p.m., officers responded to the fatal crash on I-85 northbound between the 74 and 75 mile markers. The collision involved a vehicle leaving the roadway and striking several members of a lawn mowing crew working in the median. Tragically, Pablo Gutierrez Cruz, 44, and Reuben Lopez Perez were pronounced dead at the scene. Rumaldo Lopez Perez was flown by helicopter to Columbus for emergency treatment. His current condition is not yet known.

Police released the name of the driver, 44-year-old Randall Shane Lankford of Valley. Lankford told police he was traveling north in the left lane when a semi-truck in the adjacent lane attempted to merge into his lane. Lankford said he drove off the road to avoid a collision, lost control of his vehicle and struck the workers.

Officials from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) and the Lee County Coroner’s Office are cooperating in the ongoing investigation.

Anyone who witnessed the accident is asked to contact the Valley Police Department at 334-756-5200. Alternatively, information may be reported to Valley Area Crime Stoppers at 334-215-STOP, 1-833-AL1-STOP or via email at