Scott County

One dead, several injured in holiday weekend wrecks

Wet roads and heavy holiday traffic led to a series of non-fatal crashes Monday on Interstate 75 in Rockcastle County that Kentucky State Police said backed up vehicles for miles.

In Fayette County, police reported at least one traffic-related death, two serious injuries and many fender benders on local roads during the three-day weekend. From 6 p.m. Sunday to 6 p.m. Monday, there were 60 non-injury accidents and 17 injury accidents in Lexington, said police Lt. Dean Marcum. Rain was a factor, Marcum said.

"That's more than twice the number which we normally would have in that time period," he said. "We hadn't had rain in a little while, so there was a layer of oil on the roadways that made things even slicker once it got wet."

WKYT (Channel 27) reported that 12 vehicles in Rockcastle County were involved in a chain reaction of five wrecks in the northbound lanes between Mount Vernon and London. Several people were treated at hospitals for their injuries, the station reported.

"It's more than just congestion. It's people not paying attention," state police Sgt. Jesse Owens told the station. "And everybody stopped for the first wreck, and then the second, and then the third, and the fourth and the fifth."

A man died after a wreck about 6:30 p.m. Sunday on I-75 near the 119 mile marker in Fayette County. A 1994 Ford Mustang hydroplaned off the road and hit a tree, killing the driver, Robert Cruse, 41, of Georgetown, according to the Fayette County coroner's office.

Lexington police are looking for anyone who might have witnessed an accident at Lees town and New Circle roads shortly before midnight Sunday. According to police, a Chevy TrailBlazer driven by Richard D. Thompson III of Lexington ran up an embankment and flipped near the Leestown Road ramp at New Circle Road.

The passenger, who was not been identified, was found away from the vehicle. Police are unsure how she was ejected. Both passenger and driver were taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center. On Monday, Thompson was in serious condition. The woman was being treated for life-threatening injuries.

Lexington police suspect Thompson had been drinking and are asking anyone with information about the wreck to contact them at (859) 258-3600.