Driver charged in collision that killed 5-year-old boy

vhoneycutt@herald-leader.comApril 22, 2013 

A 5-year-old Lexington boy who was killed Sunday in a head-on collision in Woodford County was remembered Monday as a "very active and special" child with a lot of friends.

Blake Cohorn died and five others were injured in the crash on U.S. 60.

Blake was in kindergarten at Harrison Elementary in Lexington. Fayette County Schools spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall said a crisis team was at the school Monday to help students.

Versailles police said Alfonso Diaz-Diaz, 26, of Louisville, was driving a Volkswagen Jetta that collided with the Cohorn family's 1999 Chevrolet Lumina just before 10 p.m. Diaz-Diaz was driving west in the eastbound lanes of U.S. 60 when the crash occurred about one mile west of Versailles, according to a police news release.

Police suspect that Diaz-Diaz had been drinking alcohol before the crash, the news release said. Diaz-Diaz was charged Monday with one count of second-degree manslaughter, five counts of first-degree assault, one count of first-degree wanton endangerment, one count of driving under the influence of alcohol with aggravating circumstances, and one count of driving without a license, said Lt. Daniel Clark, spokesman for Versailles police.

Diaz-Diaz was listed in fair condition Monday at UK Hospital. The condition of his passenger, Roman Gerzacio-Carrillo, 22, of Louisville, was not immediately available.

Relatives said the Cohorn family had been in Indiana visiting relatives and were driving back to Lexington when the crash occurred.

On Sunday, Blake's mother Wendi Cohorn posted on her Facebook page photos of her husband Rocky and Blake and some of the sights her family had seen on the way home from Indiana.

Blake was in the front seat with his parents, and the other children and the uncle were in the back seat. Seat belts and child-restraint seats were in use by all the occupants of both vehicles.

The University of Ketnucky Chandler Hospital had Wendi Cohorn, 23, listed in fair condition and Rocky Cohorn, 26, was listed in critical condition Monday. Faye Estep, Blake's great-aunt, said the Cohorns had surgery on Monday.

Blake's 3-year-old sister, Kaitlin, and four-month-old brother, Landin, were released from a Frankfort hospital, Owens said. They were unharmed, Owens said. Blake's uncle Danny Cohorn, 26, had head and facial injuries; he was being treated at a Frankfort hospital, Faye Estep said.

News of the fatal accident hit family and friends hard.

Blake's grandfather Donald Estep said he and other family members had been keeping a vigil at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital.

Faye Estep said Blake was a "very sweet and very smart" boy who loved trains.

Donald Estep said Blake liked "helicopters, Mickey Mouse, SpongeBob, and playing with his cars."

"The Lord took my world away," Donald Estep said in a telephone interview Monday as he recalled his relationship with Blake. "He was Papaw's boy."

Earlier Monday, Harrison Elementary principal Tammie Franks said Blake was "a very active and special little boy. He had a lot of friends and was kind to them."

"He was proud of himself for meeting his goals in reading and math," Franks said. Blake was "celebrated" at a schoolwide proficiency celebration Thursday, she said, and he received some beads to commemorate his success.

"He still had those with him on Friday," Franks said.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: (859) 231-3409. Twitter: @vhspears.

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