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State trooper's cruiser collides with ATV

The driver of an all-terrain vehicle was seriously injured Friday in eastern Kentucky after crashing into a police cruiser.

Police said the accident occurred when Kentucky State Police Trooper Ben Campbell, who was traveling south on Ky. 317 in Neon in Letcher County, turned his cruiser to pursue a northbound ATV, driven by Tommy Newman of Whitesburg.

Shortly after Campbell activated his emergency equipment and turned, the ATV braked suddenly in front of Campbell, who swerved into the other lane of traffic to avoid a collision, police said. The ATV made an abrupt left turn and crashed into the right side of Campbell's cruiser. Newman, who was not wearing a helmet, was ejected from the ATV. He was taken to Jenkins hospital in Letcher County and later airlifted to Holston Valley Medical Center in Tennessee.

Staff at Holston Valley Medical Center said Monday that Newman is recovering.

Campbell was wearing a seat belt and was not injured, state police said.

Police suspect that alcohol might have been a factor in the crash. Charges are pending against Newman, police said.

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