News Release

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Trooper Jody Sims
Public Affairs Officer
Kentucky State Police
Post 13, Hazard
(606) 435-6069
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Fatal Collision on By-Pass Section of Highway 15 in Letcher County

Date of News Release: 05/09/2009

(Hazard, Ky.) -- The Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard is investigation a 3 vehicle fatality collision that happened just after noon on the Whitesburg by-pass section of Highway 15. Trooper Derek Hall, Unit 408 with KSP Post 13 in Hazard responded and through his investigation determined Unit 1, a 1996 Ford Aspire driven by Mark Baker, Jr. (37 yoa) of Neon, KY was northbound on the Whitesburg By-Pass section of KY 15 when it crossed the center-line. Mr. Baker's vehicle then struck Unit 2, a 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse driven by Autumn Morris (21 yoa) of Mayking, Ky, in the left rear, which caused Autumn Morris to spin counter-clockwise to final rest in the roadway. Mr. Baker's vehicle proceeded north after the first impact and struck Unit 3, a 2000 Chevy Venture van operated by Cathy Taylor (50 yoa) of Mallie, Ky, head-on. Mr. Baker's vehicle came to rest off the northbound shoulder, where the operator was later pronounced deceased by the Letcher County Coroner Wallace Bowling, Jr. Ms. Taylor's vehicle came to rest in the roadway, and the operator was removed from the vehicle by extrication by the Whitesburg Fire Department. She was then removed from the scene by medical helicopter and airlifted to the Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tn. Seatbelts were in use by all drivers. No criminal charges are expected to be filed.

Trooper Ben McCray, U/357, The Whitesburg Police Department, Whitesburg Fire Department, Letcher & Neon Ambulance Services, WINGS Air Rescue and Letcher County Sheriff's Department also responded to this collision and assisted.

Trooper Derek Hall, U/408 is in charge of the investigation and collision reconstruction.

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