Family, friends mourn man killed after explosion at construction site

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The Stamping Ground community mourns the loss of one of their own.

31-year-old Jim Padgett died after a tragic explosion on a construction site in Nicholasville on Wednesday.

He was the oldest of six and had two young daughters of his own.

Now his family works to share his life and legacy.

“He was true, he was kind, he was strong. Just the best in all aspects of life,” said Madison Duckworth, Padgett’s girlfriend.

Padgett was a big man, with an even bigger heart. The father to two little girls, five and one years old.

“Putting bows in his hair, drawing unicorns and mermaids, painting stuff pink.”

Padgett’s girlfriend and mother of his children, Madison Duckworth said the former U.S. Army Serviceman was a talented welder.

“He was like, ‘Well, Jimmy’s my name, and welding’s my game.’”

Holding a few of the many gifts Padgett made for Madison, she stood in front of Padgett’s Chevy truck, which besides his family, was one of his most favorite projects.

“Any time you see a picture of him in it, he was so happy. Just smiling ear to ear in it.”

Jim and Madison met seven years ago through mutual friends. She was working at Buffalo Wild Wings. He came in during one of her shifts, and they were together ever since. Jim even making plans to grow their lives together.

“Three weeks ago, he bought me a ring. He didn’t get the chance to propose. Just family knew about that, but it’s just hard.”

A father, son, friend and hard worker who will be missed by so many.

“It was really hard telling our oldest. But everyone’s been so thoughtful and welcoming. And we have way too much food now,” said Duckworth.

A Memorial Ruck for Padgett will be held Saturday, September 11 at 3 p.m. It will be at the Legacy Trail in Lexington.

On Friday September 17, several businesses are hosting Frankie’s Bike Night. There will be live music, food and giveaways. At 6 p.m. there will be a ride from Man O’War Harley-Davidson to Frankie’s Plaza at 540 Hecks Plaza Drive in Morehead. A portion of the proceeds will go to Padgett’s family in his memory.

You can also find a link to a GoFundMe page here. The money will help Padgett’s family with funeral expenses.

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