Commonwealth Journal

Local News

March 18, 2013

Suspected suicidal driver is charged with murder after fatal wreck

Deputy noticed suspicious vehicle just before Saturday crash

(Continued)

Somerset —

Stephens was transported by ambulance to the Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead by the Pulaski County Coroner's Office. 
Coroner Chuck Godbey said that the cause of death appeared to be blunt force trauma to the head and chest areas. However, the body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s office in Frankfort for a more complete autopsy, with results still pending.
At 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Litton was taken into custody by UK police on the murder charge.
“The collision was an intentional act,” said Smith. “The charge of murder is being filed not by virtue of whether or not intoxication was a suspicion. (Litton) intentionally drove his car into the path of (Stephens). This is not a case where he accidentally drove off the road.”
Smith said that a camera mounted on the deputy’s vehicle captured the entire incident on video, and that the images showed the accident taken place right in front of the deputy, about 10 to 12 seconds after the pursuit began.
Smith also said that it was clear Stephens tried to move out of Litton’s way, but that Litton steered his vehicle to create the collision despite Stephens’ efforts. 
Litton was the subject of a report earlier Saturday, as a family member had informed authorities that he was suicidal. Officers went to Litton’s home and were given a vehicle description, and told that it was Litton’s alleged intention to drive in front of a semi-truck so as to kill himself, according to Smith.
Investigators are still trying to ascertain all factors that may have contributed to the accident, including toxicology.
“There doesn’t appear to be anything obvious at this point,” said Smith when asked if anything was found at the scene that might point police in a certain direction, such as drugs. “One of the things we do in these types of accidents is have the blood analyzed, not only for possible alcohol involvement but drug involvement.”

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