Winter Weather Causes Major Issues

BLEDSOE, Ky. (AP) - A winter storm that dumped half a foot of
snow on portions of the Kentucky mountains claimed the lives of two
motorists who crashed into a creek after sliding off an icy road on

Kentucky State Police Trooper Walt Meachum said the vehicle slid
off snow- and ice-covered Kentucky 2009 when the driver, Benjamin
Blanton II, 34, of Wallins, attempted to turn onto Kentucky 221.

Meachum said in a press release that the vehicle overturned and
submerged in a stream just before 1 a.m. EST and was swept into a
culvert by rushing water.

Blanton and a passenger, Kevin Jewell, 31, of Harlan, were
unable to get out of the vehicle and were pronounced dead by Harlan
County Coroner Phillip Bianchi. Two other passengers escaped.

Much of Kentucky avoided slick roads as cold weather chased rain
through the state. In the eastern part of Kentucky, however,
considerable snow had fallen in some areas by dawn on Friday.

Emergency dispatcher Les Leatherman at the state police post in
London described travel in his district as slick and hazardous. And
state police dispatcher Gary Thomas in Morehead said up to four
inches of snow had fallen in Powell, Wolfe and Menifee counties,
making travel dangerous.

The National Weather Service office in Jackson reported
accumulations of more than 6 inches in the Appalachian foothills.
Spokesman Jeff Carico said the weather system that brought the snow
has moved out of the region and no additional appreciable
accumulation is expected today.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokeswoman Robin Jenkins said
crews still were plowing roads in portions of eastern Kentucky late
Friday morning.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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