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News Release

Pursuit results in collision injuries

Date of News Release: 6/1/2017

PINEVILLE, KY. (May 31, 2017) – Kentucky State Police Post 10 in Harlan responded to a call for assistance from the Knox County Sheriff’s Department around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

Knox County 911 dispatchers advised KSP their units were involved in a pursuit of a stolen vehicle from Laurel County. The 2003 GMC Sierra, that was taken from Yaden’s Auto Sales in London, was spotted southbound on US 25E in Corbin by a Knox County Deputy. The deputy activated his emergency equipment and the operator of the truck failed to comply. The pursuit continued through Knox and into Bell County on 25E with the operator of the vehicle driving in a very reckless manner. Some speeds during the pursuit reached in excess of 90 MPH. KSP units joined in the pursuit in a support capacity near the Bell County line on US 25E. The pursuit vehicle continued through the city of Pineville. As the vehicle neared the intersection of US 25E and US 119, the operator crossed over into the turn lane.

The operator struck a 2010 Honda Accord operated by Leslie Cornett of Harlan, Ky. The impact caused the Honda to proceed forward and strike the rear of a 2013 Ford F-150 operated by Kelly Craig of Coldiron, KY. The GMC then continued into the opposing traffic in the northbound lane of US 25E and struck a 2016 Nissan Frontier, head-on, operated by Dennis Smith of Middlesboro, K, before stopping in the middle of US 25E.

The operator of the GMC truck, Thomas Honeycutt of Strunk, Ky., Ms. Cornett and Mr. Smith were all taken to the Pineville Community Hospital for their injuries. Honeycutt and Smith were later airlifted to other medical facilities due to the extent of their injuries. No condition on them at the time of this release.

Senior Trooper Kenneth Sergent responded to the scene and reconstructed the collision and will be in charge of the collision portion of this investigation. Trooper Wayne Hensley will be pursuing all traffic related charges including Fleeing/Evading Police 1st degree-Motor Vehicle. KSP Detective Aaron Frederick will be in charge of the assault charges.

Investigation continues into this incident. KSP units were assisted by KSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officers and several other police agencies.