January 6, 2014

Top 10 stories of 2013

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — 1) AirEvac crash kills three

On Thursday, June 6, an AirEvac Lifeteam helicopter crashed near the AirEvac landing pad in Clay County, killing all three crew members on board. The pilot, former Chief Deputy Eddy Sizemore, 61; flight nurse Jesse Jones, 28, of Pineville; and flight paramedic Herman Lee Dobbs Jr., 40, of London, all died in the crash that occurred around 11 p.m. in the parking lot of Paces Creek Elementary School, which is just across the road from the AirEvac helipad.

The crew was returning to the Manchester landing base after transferring a patient to Saint Joseph London.

Preliminary findings by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) cited  “dense fog” as the probable cause.

Following funeral services, the AirEvac Lifeteam celebrated — and mourned — with a memorial service at North Laurel High School on June 14.

While tears rolled down the cheeks of nearly every person in attendance, the Last Call for the beloved crew members resounded throughout the gym.

“Last call for November One-One-Nine Alpha Echo is out of service.........forever. God speed and blue skies.”


2) Phelps sentenced to three years

In January, a major trial was set for spring. Former Laurel County School administrator Charles Douglas Phelps, who was charged with having sexual relations with a minor, would be in Laurel Circuit Court Feb. 4.

Four of the five counts of the indictment against Phelps were dismissed days before the trial was due to begin as the lead witness changed her story. Without DNA evidence and a witness’s testimony, Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele had no choice but to ask for the dismissal of charges. Count 5 then went before the Kentucky Supreme Court for review.  The court rendered their opinion on a similar case, allowing Steele to “redocket” Count 5, and Phelps’ jury trial was scheduled for October 8.

Phelps appeared in court that morning. However, the victim in the case was not present.

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South Laurel’s Tucker Martin (7) slides safely into second just ahead of the ball as Whitley County’s Michael Harris gets ready to catch the ball. The Cardinals downed the Colonels, 4-1.

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