Trooper Shane Jacobs
Public Affairs Officer
Kentucky State Police
Post 10, Harlan
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Double Fatal Crash Harlan County
Date of News Release: 12/12/2008
(Bledsoe, KY) - On 12/12/2008 at 12:44 a.m., Kentucky State Police Post 10 Harlan received a call about a single vehicle fatal crash at the intersection of KY 221 and KY 2009. At the time of the crash, the vehicle had four people in it counting the operator. The operator of the vehicle, Benjamin Blanton II age 34 of Wallins, KY was attempting to turn east onto KY 221 from KY 2009. Due to snow and ice covered road conditions, Mr. Blanton failed to negotiate the turn and slid off of the roadway into a water filled culvert and overturned. The vehicle was quickly submerged and due to the swift current, was swept back and became lodged in the culvert. Mr. Blanton and a passenger, Kevin Jewell age 31 of Harlan, KY were trapped in the vehicle unable to escape and were pronounced dead by Harlan County Coroner Phillip Bianchi. The two other passengers were able to escape the vehicle. They were Gary Shackleford, age 31 of Wallins, KY and Roger Gibson, age 43 of Dayhoit, KY. Assisting at the scene were Trooper Jared Boggs and Sergeant Ron Peppi of Post 10. Also assisting at the scene were Johnsons LifeCare, Harlan County Rescue Squad and Bledsoe Fire Department. This fatal crash is still under investigation by Trooper Bryan Johnson of Kentucky State Police Post 10 Harlan.