TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
Investigators continue their probe into Wednesday’s deadly rear-end collision involving a Kentucky State Police trooper that happened on U.S. 25W in Whitley County.
Killed in the crash was 41-year-old James E. King, of Williamsburg.
Just before 3 in the afternoon, KSP Trooper Duane Foley was dispatched to investigate a two-vehicle injury crash, according to KSP public affairs officer Trooper Lloyd Cochran.
That crash was just past the north entrance to Cumberland Falls State Park on U.S. 25W.
Foley was northbound on U.S. 25W and approaching the cross streets of Brays Chapel and Shiner Church roads — Cochran said all the emergency equipment was activated on his 2009 Ford Crown Victoria.
“His sirens and lights were on,” he said.
As he approached the intersection, Foley told KSP investigators that two slowed vehicles were in the northbound lanes in front of him — one of those vehicles was King’s 1991 Chevrolet Camaro.
Foley entered the southbound lane to pass the northbound vehicles. “The traffic was slowed — almost stopped — and then the Camaro pulled into (the trooper’s) path,” Cochran said.
At press time Wednesday, it was understood the crash was a rear-end collision.
However, a press release from Cochran Thursday states the crash happened as King attempted to turn left onto Brays Chapel Road.
Cochran stated in the press release that Foley tried to avoid the crash “but was unsuccessful.”
The trooper’s vehicle plowed through a guard rail and came to rest on a steep embankment pointing downhill.
King’s vehicle remained in the roadway until the crash site was cleared — troopers said he was alone in the car at the time of the crash.
Whitley County Coroner Andy Croley pronounced King dead at the scene. Foley was taken to Baptist Health-Corbin hospital, treated for his injuries and released.
Cochran said that no drug or alcohol usage is suspected at this time.
KSP Sgt. Greg Hill is in charge of the investigation and was assisted at the scene by the Whitley County Sheriff’s Office, Whitley County EMS, Woodbine Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, Oak Grove Volunteer Fire Department, and the Goldbug Volunteer Fire Department.
The KSP’s Collision Analysis Branch was also at the scene reconstructing the crash — U.S. 25W was blocked for several hours as crews worked the scene. The road was reopened approximately 1 a.m. Thursday.