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

e-max.it: 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

July 23, 2015 14652

UPDATE: Family Confirms Body of Missing Teen…

by Shawn Freels, SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 5073

Death of Central City Man in Dawson Springs Under…

by SurfKY News
July 23, 2015 4388

Woman Accused of Striking Juvenile with Metal Belt

by SurfKY News
July 22, 2015 4366

No. 9 Steakhouse Suffers Fire; Owners Vow to…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 3615

School System Announces Free Lunch/Breakfast at…

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

July 02, 2015 19465

Emergency Response Team on Scene of Standoff on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 17, 2015 15571

Muhlenberg Most Wanted - Top 10

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

July 28, 2015 1818

Hanson Youth Wins Soap Box Derby World…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 1712

Heavy Rains, Two Wrecks Impede WKP Travel

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 1355

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 1185

Bud's Gun Shop to Re-Open Uncle Lee's

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 1078

Hopkins County Misdemeanor Indictments

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 1023

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
July 29, 2015 997

Miss Hopkins County Fair 2015 Chosen

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 955

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 802

Hopkins County Traffic Advisory

by SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 645

Hopkins County Fair Underway

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News