Funeral arrangements set for family members killed in Christmas Eve crash

jkegley@herald-leader.comDecember 26, 2012 

Funeral arrangements were set Wednesday for five people, including four members of one family, who died in a crash in Knox County on Christmas Eve.

A joint visitation and funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at Harlan Baptist Church, 102 West Mound Street in Harlan, for Gary Caldwell, 61; his wife, Patricia Caldwell, 58; their daughter Julia Caldwell Robinson, 29; and Julia's husband, Brent Robinson, 30.

Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at the church. Anderson-Laws & Jones Funeral Home in Harlan is handling arrangements.

The Caldwells had picked up the Robinsons, who lived in Bradenton, Fla., from the Lexington airport Monday and were headed home to Harlan County to celebrate Christmas when they were hit by a car driven by David F. Vanderpool, 31, of Williamsburg.

State police said Vanderpool's car crossed the median on U.S. 25 East near Flat Lick and hit the Caldwells' car. All five were killed.

Vanderpool's funeral was being handled by Harp Funeral Home in Jellico, Tenn., said Knox County Coroner Michael Blevins. According to the funeral home's Web site, Vanderpool will be cremated, with a private family service at a later date.

Toxicology was still pending for the drivers of both cars Wednesday. Tests could take six to eight weeks to complete, state police detective Michael H. Cornett said.

At the time of the wreck, police had been looking for Vanderpool's car after receiving a report about an intoxicated driver, Cornett said.

Vanderpool had been arrested Dec. 5 in Lincoln County for driving on a suspended or revoked license, according to court documents. He was released from jail the next day.

Gary Caldwell was the finance director for the Letcher County school system, and Patty Caldwell was an assistant principal at a Harlan elementary school. Julia Robinson was a speech therapist, and Brent Robinson, son of former major league baseball pitcher Don Robinson, was a computer programmer.

In lieu of flowers, the families asked for contributions to Harlan Baptist Church and the Humane Society of Manatee County, Fla.

Josh Kegley: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

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