News Release

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Trooper Shaun Little
Public Affairs Officer
Kentucky State Police
Post 9, Pikeville
(606) 433-7711
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One killed in a DUI vehicle collision on KY 979

Date of News Release: 07/06/2011

(Ligon, Ky.) -- On Tuesday July 5, 2011 at 5:54 PM Post 9 Pikeville received a 911 call of a hit and run accident on Ky 979 in the Ligon Community of Floyd County. KSP units arrived on scene while other KSP units located the hit and run vehicle and operator on Osborne Branch of Ligon. Preliminary investigation indicates that a 1996 Chevrolet pick up driven by 37 year old Malen Mitchell of Beaver, Ky. was traveling North on Ky 979. The vehicle driven by Mitchell crossed the centerline striking a Southbound 2004 Hyundai Sonata driven by 50 year old Judith Blankenship of Beaver, Ky. causing Blankenships vehicle to cross the centerline and into the Northbound lane of Ky 979. Blankenships vehicle was then struck by a Northbound 1996 Chevrolet Blazer driven by 29 year old Jennifer Newsome of Wheelwright, Ky. A passenger in Judith Blankenships vehicle, 22 year old Tiffany Adams Blankenship of Beaver was pronounced dead at the scene by Floyd County Deputy Coroner Wes Gearheart.Malen Mitchell Jr. was arrested and lodged in the Floyd County Detention Center and charged with 1 count Murder, 1 count Driving under the influence 3rd Offense, 1 count Driving DUI suspended License and 1 count leaving the scene of an accident. This incident remains under investigation by Trooper Brandon Thomas and KSP Detective Jason Merlo.

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