Two die in U.S. 27 collision following police chase
A police chase in Somerset ended Wednesday afternoon with a crash that killed two people, including an 18-year-old who had not been involved in the chase, according to state police.
A Science Hill police officer had seen a man driving a 2007 Pontiac G6 recklessly and tried to pull him over, but the car did not stop, according to state police. The officer pursued the car, which was speeding south on U.S. 27, for several miles.
The Pontiac then struck a southbound 1997 Nissan pick-up truck being driven by 18-year-old Dylan B. Snow of Kings Mountain, according to state police. Snow's pick-up truck was pushed into the back end of an SUV being driven by Department of Homeland Security police officer Thomas Armstrong, 57, of Somerset.
Armstrong was in no way involved in the chase and had been stopped at a red light when his SUV was struck, state police Trooper Lloyd Cochran said.
The driver of the Pontiac, identified as Steven O. Vanhook, 33, of Eubank, and Snow died at the scene of the crash, according to state police. Armstrong was taken to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital with minor injuries.
The Science Hill police officer was not involved in the crash.
Kentucky State Police are investigating the crash.
The crash occurred on U.S. 27 near the intersection with Bogle Street, according to Somerset police. A portion of the road was expected to be closed for an extended period of time while investigators reconstructed the crash.
Employees at a nearby Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits restaurant who witnessed the crash said the car that was being chased hit a small pick-up truck, knocking it into an SUV. The pick-up truck was unrecognizable after the crash, said Jeanene Hardin, assistant unit director at the restaurant.
"There was no surviving that," Hardin said. "It was horrible."
The employees said their hearts were broken by the crash, particularly for the driver of the pick-up truck that was struck.
"They could've been going to the grocery store," Hardin said. "You never know when it's going to be your time."