A Eubank postal employee and her five-year-old granddaughter are dead following a head-on collision that occurred around 6:30 a.m. Monday morning in downtown Burnside.
The accident occurred on South US 27 near Main Street Baptist Church.
Deanna Jean Chaney, 42, of Eubank, was southbound on U.S. 27 in a 2007 Chrysler van (with United States Postal Service decals) when she was struck head-on by a northbound 2012 Kia SUV driven by Brandy C. Montgomery, 41, of Pine Knot, Ky.
Burnside Police Chief Mike Hill was the first to respond along with deputies of the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office. Upon arrival, preliminary investigation indicated that the Kia apparently crossed into the southbound lane and struck the Chrysler -- which also carried Chaney's granddaughter Kyleigh Hobbs, 5, as a passenger.
Authorities say that Chaney was en route to drop the child off at her babysitter's.
Chaney and Montgomery were treated at the scene and transported to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital by Somerset-Pulaski County EMS. Chaney was pronounced deceased there by Pulaski County Deputy Coroner Gerald Collingsworth. Her body was expected to be transported to Frankfort for autopsy.
Montgomery was later transferred from LCRH to the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington for treatment of life-threatening injuries. As of Monday afternoon, the McCreary County woman was listed in critical condition.
Hobbs was also treated at the scene by EMS but transported directly to UK by ambulance because the weather prohibited airlifting. The Fayette County Coroner's Office pronounced her death at 9:51 a.m. due to multiple blunt force injuries.
"Our hearts are with the family of Deanna Chaney and her granddaughter, Kyleigh," USPS spokesperson Susan Wright stated. "The Postal Service, particularly Deanna's postal family at the Eubank Post Office, are deeply saddened by the news of their passing. We ask the community to join us as we pray for those affected by this tragic accident."
Wright added that employee assistance is being offered to the Eubank postal employees.
Authorities reported that the victims were all properly restrained. While the road was wet, it was not raining at the time of the accident. Its cause remains under investigation by the Burnside Police Department with assistance from the Somerset Police Department Accident Reconstruction Team, led by Detective Larry Patterson.
Law enforcement units were assisted at the scene by the Burnside Fire Department and the Pulaski County Hazmat Special Response Team (SRT). Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews were also on hand at the north and south entrances to West Lake Shore Drive, diverting traffic around the scene. That section of South US 27 was reopened at approximately 11:30 a.m.