Trucker’s “Inattention” Blamed For Deadly 12-Vehicle Chain Reaction Crash
Eddyville, Kentucky – One person has died and 22 others injured after a 12-vehicle chain reaction crash in Eddyville on Friday that began when a semi-truck slammed into traffic that had slowed in a construction zone along I-24.
Officials said an early investigation into the accident appears the trucker’s “inattention” was a contributing factor.
Eyewitnesses said the truck, traveling eastbound, slammed into the back of a church van that had slowed due to construction around mile marker 51 at approximately 4:30 p.m on Friday.
The impact caused a chain reaction that resulted in multiple injuries and left one person dead.
The semi-truck, which is marked A2B Cargo out of Markham, IL, was driven by 42-year old Coleman Strachman of Sharpsburg, NC.
Authorities say a total of 12 vehicles were involved in the accident.
Twenty-two people were transported to multiple hospitals for a variety of injuries, officials said.
Jace Ashton Lee Smothers, 19, of Norton, KS, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to investigators.
He was a passenger in the church van that belonged to “Christ In Youth” ministries from Joplin, MO.
According to a post from Ozark Christian College (OCC), where Smothers just completed his freshman year, he was serving on staff with CIY ministry this summer.
The group was on their way to an event in Cleveland, TN when the crash occurred.
The post from OCC also claims three other students were among the injured, but all are in stable condition.
The names of the remaining victims have yet to be officially released.
It is unclear at this time if the truck driver is one of the injured.
First responders were still on the scene at 3 a.m. and the highway remained closed for over 12 hours.
Transportation Nation Network will continue to follow the investigation.
(Image courtesy of WKDZ)