Man crashes while passing recovery emergency vehicles

Jimmy Gray

A man who didn't want to wait in a traffic backup found himself in a ditchline and later in jail for endangering the lives of emergency workers.

Laurel Sheriff's officials took 58-year-old Jimmy Dean Gray into custody on Thursday evening on charges of wanton endangerment and reckless driving. Gray was arraigned in Laurel District Court on Monday, where he was set for a pretrial conference on Jan. 11. He is under a $5,000 cash bond or $10,000 fully secured bond.

Gray was in line behind traffic along Johnson Road (KY 472) on Thursday afternoon, following the rapid accumulation of snow in the county. The inclement weather caused several traffic collisions along the way, with Sheriff's officials assisting with the removal of a fire truck from a ditchline approximately one mile east of London. Two firefighters and two employees of the towing service were along the roadway with a state transportation truck that was pouring salt on the snow-covered roads.

It was then that Gray drove his black Chevrolet Lumina into the wrong lane of traffic and attempted to pass the emergency vehicles at a high rate of speed with ice underneath several inches of snow that had fallen earlier that day. As Gray approached the emergency vehicles, he slid off the roadway and traveled along the ditchline for approximately 40 yards before the vehicle stopped.

Gray was charged with four counts of second-degree wanton endangerment for the four persons that were in danger by his actions.

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