Graves Co. deputy dies inside candle factory leading 7 inmates to safety

Graves County Deputy Jailer Robert Daniel was killed when a powerful tornado hit a candle...
Graves County Deputy Jailer Robert Daniel was killed when a powerful tornado hit a candle factory in Mayfield on Friday, Dec. 10. Daniel was supervising inmates working at the factory.(Source: Graves County Sheriff's Office/Facebook)
Updated: Dec. 14, 2021 at 4:34 PM CST
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MAYFIELD, Ky. (WSMV) - Family and fellow law enforcement remember a Graves County deputy as a hero.

During the deadly tornado inside Mayfield Consumer Products, the local candle factory, Robert Daniel lost his life. But, his family said Daniel was known for helping others. His first day at the factory was Tuesday, three days before the tornado hit. He was brought on as a leader of seven inmates, and that’s how he will be remembered in his last moments.

“He was really excited when this program was founded because it had been delayed for a while,” Robert’s brother Alonzo Daniel said.

The Graves County Jailer, George Workman said he thought Robert Daniel would be perfect for the position, and he was eager to begin. Unfortunately, due to COVID, the start date was pushed back for months. Robert Daniel finally got approval to start on Tuesday.

“I was specifically talking to him that Tuesday afternoon and he was so excited,” Alonzo Daniel said. “For the chance for him to be better himself financially, but more importantly help these inmates, you now, better themselves as well.”

“He just had three days of it,” Workman said. “I mean, his dedication was showing up as best as we can tell, right up until the very end.”

When the tornado hit Mayfield, Robert Daniel let the seven others go first.

“He was trying to make sure they all got behind some kind of particular door and a wall he thought was going to be secure,” Workman said. “He was pushing the last one in, and that was the last time that they saw him.”

“About an hour later, we got a call. They were able to pull him out, but he wasn’t with us no more,” Alonzo Daniel said.

Robert Daniel will always be a brother, a father, and a deputy. He will also be remembered as a selfless leader who puts others first.

His family said funeral arrangements are set for Saturday. Workman said they plan to present Robert Daniel a Lifetime Achievement Award at that time.

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