Stewart-family-while-trapStewart family while trapped.CENTRAL CITY, Ky. (6/3/14) — The Stewart family of Central City visits their family gravesite each Memorial Day.

This past Memorial Day was no different except that their stay was much longer than anticipated.

The family previously accessed the cemetery via Stringtown Road. However, a section of the road leading to the cemetery was removed by Oxford Coal during its mining process, according to Danny Stewart.

Now, the family must travel to the cemetery through a mine access road off Kentucky 189, which has a locked gate, guard shack and a security guard through Clark Security of Evansville, Ind.

Christie Stewart Sheppard said her family arrived at the gate to access the cemetery on Memorial Day with 11 family members including five children. They found the gate unlocked, and they didn't see a security guard, she said.

However, while the family was driving to the cemetery, they were stopped by security guard Stephanie Eubanks, who allowed them to proceed to the cemetery, said Sheppard. When the group tried to leave, the gate was locked and the security guard was not there, she said.

After waiting at the locked gate, Sheppard said she squeezed herself through the gate, and made her way to Kentucky 189. There, she said she saw Eubanks sitting in her vehicle on the side of the road.

Sheppard said Eubanks left the gated location leaving the family trapped inside. Sheppard said she called 911 but dispatch could not locate any key holders. A family friend saw her and stopped to help, and they attached a chain to the gate and pulled the lock apart, she said.

The Stewart family is very upset about the incident and have been trying to call the security company to complain. Phone numbers listed on a sign by the gate have not been answered, said Sheppard.

SurfKY News contacted Eubanks but she declined to comment referring questions to Clark's spokesman Tom Waters. Eubanks could not supply a phone number for Waters nor identify his position with Clark Security.

When SurfKY News called Clark Security's main office in Evansville, the person that answered would only identify himself as Jeff. He said that while he was aware of the incident, he had no comment. He said he would have someone call SurfKY, who could speak on behalf of the company, however, no calls have been returned.

David Stewart and Danny Stewart said they have maintained their family gravesite along with the Fortney family graveyard, which is close to theirs.

Danny Steward said the road to the Fortney Graveyard is so bad now that they cannot drive their vehicles to mow and cut weeds. He said the Fortney graveyard has become so overgrown, tombstones are no longer visible.

The Stewart family believes their rights are being violated by their inability to access their family cemetery on a regular basis, and are still seeking answers.

SurfKY News contacted Muhlenberg Judge-Executive Rick Newman, who said the issue will be investigated. He will be attempting to contact Oxford Coal, he said.

Charles Riley II
SurfKY News Reporter

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

3/13 - 16

In Other News...

Whitfield Meets with Alzheimer's Association

WASHINGTON (3/29/15) — U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, met in… Read More
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

March 27, 2015 5593

Three Arrested during Execution of Search…

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 25, 2015 5288

Fazoli's, Roses Coming to Madisonville

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
March 24, 2015 5087

One Dies, Another Injured in Mortons Gap Traffic…

by Deputy Heath Owens
March 25, 2015 5017

Grand Jury Finds No Criminal Wrongdoing in Bean…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 24, 2015 4204

UPDATE: One Injured in Hopkinsville Road Accident

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 25, 2015 3982

Madisonville Man's Living Room Leap Lands Him in…

by Madisonville Police Department / Hopkins County Detention Center

Most Read This Month

March 09, 2015 13477

Multi-Agency Drug Bust Results in $1 Million Meth…

by KSP DESI
March 02, 2015 11553

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

March 28, 2015 2456

Young Child Dies in Princeton Fire

by Chris Rogers, KSP
March 28, 2015 1501

Tractor Trailer Takes Out Guardrail on I-69,…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 28, 2015 1235

VIDEO: Shoe Charity Expands to 'Sweet Sixteen'…

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
March 28, 2015 1060

Commission Hears More Proposals for Subdividing…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 28, 2015 858

Independence Bank Scholarship Reception Held…

by Lynnsie Fulkerson
March 27, 2015 796

KSP Charges Jefferson County Man with Possession…

by Kentucky State Police
March 27, 2015 764

Alltech Brewing and Distilling Academy Launches…

by Danielle Palmer
March 27, 2015 668

It's Not Too Late to Get a Flu Shot

by Beth Fisher
March 28, 2015 631

Four Roses to Build Bottling Facility in Bullitt…

by Office of the Governor
March 28, 2015 617

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News