Slick roads may have contributed to a crash that left one man dead and four others injured Dec. 23.
Rapidly falling temperatures caused the roadway to freeze in areas, said LaRue County Deputy Russell McCoy. He believes one of the vehicles involved in the collision hit a slick spot and was unable to stop.
“It was only slick for a short period,” said McCoy, adding there were two other non-injury wrecks in the county that occurred about the same time.
About 1:30 p.m., a 2004 Dodge Caravan driven by David Middleton, 33, of Canmer, was driving on Oak Hill Road, nearing the intersection with Ky. 357. Middleton was unable to stop at the intersection and his minivan crossed into the path of a northbound 1996 Oldsmobile 88 driven by Herbert Hawkins, 91, of Magnolia.
The Oldsmobile “broadsided” the van in the passenger side, McCoy said.
The van left the roadway and overturned, coming to rest on its side, McCoy said. Middleton and his passengers, Diana Haycraft, 52, of Magnolia and Ronald Finley, 51, of Buffalo, were trapped. LaRue County, Buffalo and Magnolia rescue squads responded to the scene to assist with the extrication.
The process was “extensive” and time-consuming as the volunteers had to stabilize the van before they cut off the roof, McCoy said.
Finley was in a wheelchair in the back seat of the van, McCoy said. He died later that evening at Hardin Memorial Hospital, presumably due to a pre-existing condition.
“The coroner does not believe the injuries sustained in the accident (was the cause of death),” said McCoy.
Middleton and Herbert Hawkins were transported to Hardin Memorial Hospital where they were treated and released.
Haycraft was transported to University of Louisville Hospital for treatment of hip and head injuries.
Herbert Hawkins’ passenger, his wife Odell Hawkins, 86, was transported to University of Louisville Hospital for treatment of an ankle injury.
Two LaRue County ambulances and one Hardin County ambulance were used to transport the patients.
During the same time frame, the LaRue County Sheriff’s office responded to two non-injury wrecks on Bardstown Road – one near the Boyhood Home at Knob Creek and the other near the Nelson County line.