RICHMOND — There aren't as many crashes on Irvine Road, site of a head-on collision Thursday that killed three people, as there are in other spots around town, Richmond Police Chief Larry Brock said.
The Eastern Bypass, for example, has significantly more crashes, Brock said.
"I think what occurs is, with the speed limit out there being 55 mph, whenever we do have an accident out there it tends to be serious," Brock said. "But as far as overall numbers, we have significantly more (accidents) on the bypass."
Maj. Steve Gregg of the Richmond police patrol division said Friday that the crash is under investigation and it's too early to say whether speed was a factor. Brock, however, said drivers frequently exceed the speed limit on Irvine Road, whether they are headed into town or out of town.
"It's a four-lane roadway, and people tend to speed on those wide roadways, just like the interstate," Brock said. The four-lane road funnels into a two-lane road east of an entrance to the pilot plant under construction at Blue Grass Army Depot.
Police said Thursday's crash occurred when a Toyota Solara driven by Wilma Cox pulled out from a side road near Monty's Liquors into the path of an inbound Chevrolet pickup driven by Roger Million Jr. Police said alcohol and drugs are not thought to be factors in the crash.
Cox, 56, of Irvine, died from the collision, along with Gregory Hayes, 48, and Eric Cox, 9, both of McKee. Eric was Wilma Cox's grandson; Hayes was Cox's son-in-law and uncle to Eric, said Madison County deputy coroner Carlos Coyle.
Brock said it can be easy for drivers pulling from side roads to misjudge the speed of vehicles traveling on Irvine Road. But he said stricter enforcement in that area could be problematic.
"We have a lot of traffic violations we would like to address, but we're like everybody else. Manpower is an issue and funding is an issue, and sometimes we just don't have the people to dedicate to the enforcement in that area," Brock said.
"Do I think we could we use more enforcement? Yeah, I do. But I think the ability to deliver that enforcement is not there because of staffing and funding issues. ... We don't have the staffing for a specialized traffic enforcement unit."
Meanwhile, one person injured in the crash has been discharged from University of Kentucky Hospital, while three others remain.
Roger Million Jr., the driver of the pickup, has been released, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Billie Masters, 35, of Waco, a passenger in the pickup, was listed in fair condition Friday morning.
Two people who were passengers in the Toyota Solara remained in the hospital Friday. Eric Cox's mother, Deborah Griffith, 32, of McKee, and Wilma Cox's husband, Elby, were listed in serious condition.