EDDYVILLE — At about 4:38 p.m. Friday, Kentucky State Police Post 1 in Hickory received numerous calls of a multiple-vehicle collision on Interstate 24 in Lyon County east of Eddyville.
KSP said preliminary investigation shows that 12 vehicles were involved in the collision. All of those vehicles were traveling east on I-24. Traffic was slow to stopped around the 51 mile marker in Lyon County, due to construction ahead of the collision scene.
KSP said Coleman A. Strachman, 42 of Sharpsburg, North Carolina was operating a semi-trailer truck east on the interstate. Witnesses state and early investigation indicates that inattention on behalf of the semi driver appears to be a contributing factor in the collision.
KSP said that investigation indicates that the semi ran into stopped/slowed traffic, causing a chain of events with multiple injuries.
Jace Ashton Lee Smothers, 19, of Norton, Kansas was pronounced deceased on the scene by the Lyon County Coroner’s Office. Smothers was a passenger in a van occupied by multiple occupants. KSP said that the van is registered to Christ in Youth Incorporated of Joplin, Missouri.
KSP said that about 22 people appear to be involved in the crash. At least two others were in critical condition, KSP said on Saturday. Four people were taken by helicopter to TriStar Skyline Medical Center in Nashville Tennessee, while another person was flown by helicopter to Deaconess Midtown hospital in Evansville Indiana, KSP said. Eight other people were taken by ambulances from the scene to other local hospitals.
The remaining individuals were released. Some out-of- town travelers were staying at local hotels, KSP said.
Troopers remained on the scene for several hours conducting the investigation. The eastbound lanes were closed to all traffic through the remainder of Friday and did not reopen until about 6 a.m. Saturday.
KSP was assisted on the scene by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, Lyon County Coroner’s Office, United States Forestry Law Enforcement, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, Christian County Sheriff’s Office, Trigg County Sheriff’s Office, Eddyville Fire Department, Kuttawa Fire Department, Ledbetter Fire Department, Lyon County EMS, Trigg County EMS, Caldwell County EMS and numerous other agencies.
The investigation is continuing by KSP Sgt. Eric Fields and Trooper Michael Robichaud. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kentucky State Police Post 1 at 270-856-3721 or anonymously at 1-800-222-5555. Citizens may also report tips anonymously through the KSP app.
The app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android applications and can be easily downloaded free of charge through Apple and Google Play stores.