Southern Ky World War I Monument Destroyed By Airborne Truck

Some would say it's only a statue. But the loss in Jamestown runs deep.

Since 1937 the doughboy statue paying tribute to soldiers killed in World War I stood as a monument in the middle of Jamestown. It came crashing down Tuesday night.

Mayor Brooks Bates says a Jamestown officer saw a truck speeding south toward the statue. Seconds later, the truck hit the steps of the monument, and went airborne.

The mayor says the truck, driven by Danny Wilson, 49, of Somerset, initially cleared the doughboy's top but then hit the flagpole.

“Some estimates is that he would've cleared the monument...if he had not hit the flagpole,” says Bates.

Police say Wilson was driving extremely fast. He's been charged with drunk driving. Court records show that's an offense he's faced before.

“Part of the town is gone,” says Michael York of Russell County. “If it was a DUI driver, it could have been my child or your child.”

The doughboy was an important reference point for many people in Russell County. Many would use the iron statue as a way of giving directions to places in the county, such as the Lake Cumberland destinations south of town.

Now city officials are questioning how they're going to replace the doughboy, which could cost about $18,000 by some estimates.

“We don't know what monies are available yet. We have a committee on it,’ says Bates.

Also uncertain is if the statue can be repaired or if it will have to be replaced.

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