Commonwealth Journal

March 12, 2014

Motorist dies after crashing into stuck semi on Ky. 39

by Chris Harris
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —

 The life of a Pulaski County woman was claimed early Wednesday in a head-on collision on Ky. 39. 
According to Kentucky State Police (KSP), Megan Williams, 30, of Somerset, was killed when she crashed into a tractor trailer that was stuck in a ditch.
At approximately 12:45 a.m., shortly after midnight, emergency personnel responded to a report of a two-vehicle collision near the intersection of Coleman Road with Ky. 39, which is around six miles north of Somerset.
Upon arrival, KSP Trooper Craig Reed, a traffic crash reconstructionist, determined that Williams  was operating a 2002 Mazda 626 southbound on Ky. 39 when she struck the 2000 Peterbilt truck operated by Robert Middletown, 23, of Lexington, Tenn.
The truck was stuck in the ditch line, with the trailer stretching across both the north and south bound lanes of Ky. 39.
Williams was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision, according to KSP.
She was pronounced dead at the scene by the Pulaski County Coroner’s Office. Coroner Chuck Godbey confirmed that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.
The driver of the truck was not injured, according to KSP.
Rick Haynes, chief of the Dabney Volunteer Fire Department, said that its not unusual for trucks to get stuck at that particular location.
“Their GPS is taking them off U.S. 27 and putting them on east Ky. 635 and Coleman Road,” said Haynes. “When they get on west Coleman, it takes them to Ky. 39. There’s a sign there that says ‘No Thru Trucks.’ Their options are to turn left or right on Ky. 39. They try to make the turn on the intersection, but it’s not made for a 52-foot trailer to make a turn, and they get stuck continuously there.
“We’ve done traffic control numerous times (for stuck trailers there),” he added. “They get unstuck and get back on the roadway. But this occurred very quickly, and a few minutes later, someone came up on it over the hill and didn’t see the tractor trailer there.”
It is not currently known if excessive speed was a factor in the crash, according to KSP Trooper Lloyd Cochran; that aspect is still under investigation.
Haynes, however, noted that it appeared that Williams was “driving at a pretty good speed and came up on it pretty quick.”
Trooper Reed is in charge of the investigation and was assisted by officers with Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, Pulaski County Fire Safety Coordinator Tiger Robinson, Pulaski County Rescue Squad and the Dabney Volunteer Fire Department