January 15, 2013

Drunk driver injured in Ky. 80 crash

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Bush Elementary School’s parking lot served as the landing spot for a medical helicopter when a man suffered serious injuries after a head-on crash Tuesday night.

John E. Napier, 46, of Middlesboro, was flown to the University of Kentucky Medical Center with serious injuries after he swerved across the westbound lane of east Ky. 80 into the eastbound lane, striking another vehicle head-on. The accident took place around 9:20 p.m. about three miles from London.

Napier’s white 1971 Ford pickup straddled the highway in front of Tom Cat Trail on Ky. 80 while the 2009 Toyota Camry, driven by 51-year-old Stacy R. Torres, came to rest with the front wheels on the edge of the roadway and the rear wheels on the bank over a ditchline.

Torres was taken to Saint Joseph London by Ambulance Inc. of Laurel County with non-life threatening injuries.

Napier told emergency personnel on the scene he had drank eight beers prior to the crash and a witness who had followed Napier’s truck along the roadway for several miles said the pickup had been weaving badly along the highway just prior to the crash.

Investigating the collision is Laurel County Sheriff’s Deputy Robbie Grimes, along with Chief Deputy Eddy Sizemore and Deputy Josh Scott. Charges against Napier in the drunk driving incident are pending until toxicology tests are completed.

Assisting at the accident scene were members of the London-Laurel County Rescue Squad and the Bush Volunteer Fire Department.