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 your social media marketing partner

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.

Most Read This Week

November 24, 2015 9931

Distillery to Operate in Old Graham School…

by SurfKY News
November 21, 2015 8725

Injuries Result from Beulah Road Accident

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
November 23, 2015 7552

Relative Charged with Murder, Arson in Deaths of…

by SurfKY News
November 24, 2015 4543

Ohio County Most Wanted - Top 10 - November 24

by SurfKY News
November 24, 2015 3208

Man Injured When Vehicle Collides with Deer

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

November 17, 2015 15654

Ohio County Most Wanted - Top 10 - November 17

by SurfKY News
November 18, 2015 14422

Runaway Teen Returns on His Own

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

November 25, 2015 2227

Man Hospitalized after Early Morning Car Accident

by SurfKY News
November 26, 2015 1996

Muhlenberg Sheriff's Office Makes Cocaine Bust

by SurfKY News
November 27, 2015 1448

Madisonville Man Charged with Attempted Murder…

by SurfKY News
November 26, 2015 1300

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores…

by SurfKY News
November 25, 2015 848

Thanksgiving is Peak Day for Cooking Fires

by SurfKY News
November 26, 2015 623

Hopkins County Warriors Go to National…

by SurfKY News
November 26, 2015 511

Beauty of Western Kentucky Autumn Wilderness…

by SurfKY News
November 27, 2015 477

Farm City Breakfast Recognizes Reawakening of…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
November 26, 2015 474

American Medical Association Wants to Ban Ads for…

by SurfKY News