• Search

Hero Down: Randall County Sheriff’s Sgt. Wayland ‘Jay’ Claxton Dies After Car Crashes Into Boat He Was Fixing

Amarillo, TX – Randall County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) Sergeant Wayland “Jay” Claxton died on May 14 after a car crashed into the boat he was working on outside of his home.

The deadly collision occurred at about 8 p.m. as the 57-year-old sergeant was working on a boat that was parked on a trailer on Buccola Avenue, KVII reported.

Investigators said a 19-year-old girl behind the wheel of an SUV crashed into the boat, resulting in Sgt. Claxton becoming trapped beneath the trailer.

The sergeant suffered severe injuries and did not survive, KVII reported.

The Amarillo Police Department’s Traffic Investigation Unit is handling the ongoing investigation into the incident, according to KAMR.

Randall County Sheriff Christopher Forbis confirmed Sgt. Claxton’s tragic death in a press release the following day.

“It is with a heavy heart that I let everyone know that our brother and friend, Sergeant Jay Claxton, passed away last night as a result of a traffic collision on Buccola Street,” Sheriff Forbis wrote.

“Jay has long-served this agency with distinction and if you knew Jay he was your friend,” the sheriff continued. “Jay was the type of person that would show up any time of the day or night if you needed help. Jay Claxton was a long-time personal friend and I will miss him greatly.”

He asked the community to stand behind Sgt. Claxton’s family and the RCSO in the wake of their loss.

“I am asking everyone to go to the Lord in prayer to ask for comfort for his family, and all of those who feel the loss of his passing,” Sheriff Forbis wrote. “There are no words to express the depth of loss we are all feeling at the Sheriff’s Office.”

Prior to his career in law enforcement, Sgt. Claxton spent 13 years working for the Walmart Corporation – including three years in a managerial role, according to his obituary.

“Jay felt called by the Lord to pursue his lifelong dream to serve his community as a peace officer,” the tribute read.

He joined the RCSO in July of 2003, according to KVII.

“He took the utmost pride and considered it an honor to serve and protect,” his obituary read. “He regarded his fellow law enforcement brothers and sisters as family.”

Sgt. Claxton was named Deputy of the Year by the Randall County Fire Department in 2013, KVII reported.

He was promoted to sergeant in 2021 after celebrating his 18th anniversary with the RCSO.

The longtime deputy leaves behind his wife, Cheri, as well as his three children and four grandchildren, according to his obituary.

He is also survived by his brother, in-laws, nephews, and nieces.

Sgt. Claxton was laid to rest on May 19.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Randall County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Wayland “Jay” Claxton, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


Sign up to our daily newsletter so you don't miss out on the latest events surrounding law enforcement!

Follow Me

Follow us on social media and be sure to mark us as "See First."