trooper talkingEDDYVILLE, Ky. (6/29/19) —Authorities say one person died and as many as 22 were injured during a 12-vehicle crash on I-24 shortly after 5 p.m. Friday near Eddyville.

Kentucky State Police said 19-year-old Jace Ashton Lee Smothers of Norton, Kansas was pronounced dead at the scene and several fellow passengers inside a Christ in Youth van were involved in the crash.

KSP said numerous vehicles were stopped or slowed due to construction ahead near the 51 mile marker including the van registered to Christ in Youth, Inc. of Joplin, Missouri. Early investigation along with witness statements indicate 42-year-old Coleman A. Strachman of Sharpsburg, North Carolina was driving a semi tractor trailer headed east on I-24 and ran into the stopped/slowed traffic. Inattention by the semi driver appears to be a contributing factor to the accident, said KSP.

Among the occupants of 12 vehicles involved in the collisions, four people were taken by medical helicopter to Skyline Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee and another to Deaconess Midtown Hospital in Evansville, Indiana. Eight people were taken by EMS ambulances to other local hospitals. Some of the out-of-town travelers are staying in local hotels.

KSP's investigation is continuing and troopers were assisted at the scene by Lyon, Caldwell, Christian and Trigg counties sheriff's departments, U.S. Forestry Law Enforcement, Kentucky Department of Transportation, Eddyville, Kuttawa, Ledbetter fire departments, Lyon, Trigg and Caldwell EMS crews, Lyon County Coroner's Office along with emergency agencies from surrounding areas.

Troopers Michael Robichaud and Sgt. Eric Fields are in charge of the investigation.

The crash scene reopened at 5:30 a.m. CDT today.

In the photo above, KSP Post 1 spokesman Trooper Bryan Luckett provides a media briefing Friday evening. Some details given at the briefing were updated in a KSP press release after more of the investigation was completed. Photo courtesy Keith Todd, KYTC spokesman. To watch the video of the KSP briefing, go to the KYTC Facebook page by clicking HERE.

Rita Dukes Smith

SurfKY News Director

LYON COUNTY, Ky. (6/28/19) — Kentucky State Police reported shortly after 7 p.m. that the multi-vehicle crash involves a fatality and multiple injured people.

Kentucky Transportation officials are reported shortly after 5 p.m. that a multi-vehicle crash had blocked traffic on I-24 near the 52 mile marker in Lyon County due to a "major crash involving multiple vehicles."

The westbound lanes of I-24 are open, however, the eastbound lanes remain blocked. Eastbound traffic is being detoured off Exit 45 to take Kentucky 93 South to return to I-24 westbound at Kentucky 139 interchange.

The area is between the Kentucky 293 and Eddyville Exit 45 interchange and the Kentucky 139 Princeton interchange near the Lyon-Caldwell counties line.

There could be as many as a dozen injured in the multi-vehicle accident. Lyon County responders are requesting mutual aid from surrounding areas as well as asking those departments to be on standby.

KYTC recommends eastbound trucks and motorists on I-24 traveling to Nashville and points beyond should consider detouring to the Pennyrile Parkway south as alternate routes along this section of I-24 are limited.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Keith Todd

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