by Chris Harris
An early-morning wreck on Tuesday turned tragic later in the day, as it resulted in the death of a Louisiana woman.
According to Somerset Police, the accident occurred at 4:47 a.m. at the intersection of U.S. 27 and the Ky. 80 bypass.
It was the fourth fatal wreck within the Somerset city limits this year.
The investigation by the Somerset Police Department (SPD) revealed that Amber Moore, 27, of Denham Springs, La., was operating a 1997 Plymouth Breeze westbound on the East Ky. 80 Bypass and was approaching the US 27 intersection.
Moore told officers she tried to apply her brakes for the red light, but slid into the intersection.
Lt. Shannon Smith of SPD said that the roadway was “slightly wet” at the time of the crash due to local precipitation.
Moore’s Plymouth was struck in the driver’s side by a 2003 Dodge Caravan that was headed northbound on U.S. 27, driven by David Brashears, 48, of Bronston.
Moore and her passenger, Patricia Racca, 52, also of Denham Springs, were treated at the scene by the Somerset Fire Department and the Somerset-Pulaski County EMS. Both were transported to the Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital.
Racca was later transferred to the University of Kentucky Hospital, and died from her injuries. She was pronounced dead at 6:31 p.m. Tuesday by the Fayette County Coroner’s Office in Lexington.
Smith said that the tragic outcome wasn’t necessarily expected, since it didn’t appear at the time of the wreck that Racca’s injuries were “life-threatening” based on responders’ assessment.
“Obviously, her condition deteriorated throughout the day,” said Smith. “Once they got her to the hospital, they realized the need for more advanced treatment,” resulting in the transfer to UK.
Moore, Racca, and Brashears were wearing their seat belts at the time of the accident. Intoxication is not suspected as a factor.
Moore and Racca were on their way to visit family in McCreary County, said Smith. He said that most accidents at that early hour happen while people on their way to work, and he isn’t sure if Moore was accustomed to driving throughout the night.
“There are several questions left on the whole thing,” he said, noting that police had not found evidence that Moore’s car had skidded through the intersection as she reported.
Of the now four fatal accidents in 2012, two — including this one — have been in parts of Somerset that have been within the town’s borders for a long time, and the other two on the newly-annexed roadways the city took in earlier this year.
Still, “our accident numbers have been elevated, but they’re only slight elevated through the first of this month,” said Smith, noting that when tallying up the wrecks in January through October, “there weren’t as many wrecks as you might expect for having 50 additional miles of state highway.”
When adding the extra roads to patrol, Smith said the police department knew wreck numbers would be higher, but “visibility and enforcement are helping keep those numbers as low as we can possibly keep them.”