Friends say woman who died in Interstate 64 crash was 'miss social butterfly'

kward1@herald-leader.comAugust 18, 2014 

Emily Rhoads died Saturday of injuries suffered Friday in a traffic accident on Interstate 64. Her organs were donated, in accordance with her wishes.


As one of her managers put it, the grass wasn't growing under Emily Rhoads' feet.

"She didn't like to sit still," recalled Bryan Raisor, managing director at Assured Neace Lukens, the Lexington insurance company where Ms. Rhoads worked. "She was a master of tasks."

Ms. Rhoads, 27, of Lexington, died after a crash on Interstate 64 last weekend.

She was driving one of three cars that collided in a construction zone at mile marker 63 near the Midway exit on Friday, according to a news release from the Fayette County coroner's office. Her vehicle was hit from behind by a pickup whose driver apparently did not see that traffic was stopped in the construction zone.

Ms. Rhoads was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, where she was pronounced dead in the neuro-surgical intensive care unit Saturday morning, according to the news release.

She had wanted to be an organ donor, and her heart, liver and kidneys are giving life to three people, according to an online obituary.

Ms. Rhoads was on her way to work Friday morning when the crash occurred, Raisor said

She had been hired in 2011 as a receptionist and worked her way up to the position of benefits proposal analyst.

Trish Mattison said she and Ms. Rhoads were part of a trio of friends who worked together and did everything else together too, from slumber parties to weekly lunches at Jalapeños.

"We called ourselves the tripod," Mattison said. "We were the best of friends.

"She was just bright, bubbly and clumsy as all get-out" ... but somehow graceful too."

She was "miss social butterfly," a woman with a "tiny squeaky voice" who loved spending time at her family's lake house, Mattison said.

Ms. Rhoads also worked one or two nights a week as a server at The Chop House, a job she had held since her college days at the University of Kentucky, from which she graduated with honors in 2009. She majored in Spanish.

She was much-loved at the restaurant for her outgoing personality, manager Brandon McCain said.

He remembered her as "always smiling. (She) lifted other people up and was a really positive influence."

Ms. Rhoads was a native of Greenville and a 2005 graduate of Muhlenberg South High School.

Survivors include her parents, John and Martha Rhoads of Greenville.

Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Second Baptist Church in Greenville, with funeral services at 1 p.m. Tucker Funeral Home in Central City is in charge of arrangements.

Karla Ward: (859) 231-3314. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

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