March 11, 2013

Black ice causes fatal crash on Ky. 80 Bridge

By Carrie Dillard
Managing Editor

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — A Somerset woman was killed Thursday morning in a two-vehicle crash on the Russell Dyche Memorial Bridge on west Ky. 80.

Sue Whitaker, 53, of Somerset, was on her way to work Thursday morning when she lost control of her SUV on the icy bridge, started spinning and was hit by an on-coming tractor-trailer.

The crash happened just after 8 a.m. at the Laurel-Pulaski County line.

Kentucky State Police said Whitaker, who was driving a Jeep Cherokee, was ejected  from her vehicle following the crash. She died at the scene.

The driver of the semi was not injured.

Whitaker was a long-time employee of C&C Communications in London.

Authorities said slick road conditions and black ice were the cause of the accident.

Police are continuing their investigation.

Prior to this crash, at around 7:20 a.m., another traffic accident on Ky. 770 sent at least one person to the hospital for injuries.

Details about this wreck were not available at presstime Thursday.  Kentucky State Police are investigating.

The Laurel County Sheriff’s Office issued a black ice warning early Thursday after multiple wrecks in the area.

Sheriff’s deputies investigated a single-vehicle wreck on I-75, also around 8 a.m., at the 35 mile marker.

The driver of a Jeep Cherokee in this crash was not injured.

“The vast majority of what we had was black ice,” said Deputy Gilbert Acciardo, public affairs officer. “The ground temperature kept it in pretty good shape on most roads, but any road with a curve, overpass or culvert, we were having some icy problems.”

More information will be released in the Monday edition of the Sentinel-Echo.

Staff Writer Magen McCrarey contributed to this story.