Pregnant Woman, EMS Official Killed In Eastern Kentucky Crash

Two people were killed Tuesday morning after a coal truck hit them on a snow-covered Johnson County road.

It happened around 9 a.m. on U.S. 460, not far from the Magoffin County line.

Police say it started after Erica Brown, who was pregnant, was involved in a minor accident. Police and paramedics were called to the scene.

While that accident was being cleared up, police say a coal truck lost control on the road, and slammed into both Brown and Paintsville EMS Director Christa Burchett. Burchett was helping Brown into an ambulance at the time.

Police say it appears the coal truck was coming over a hill and braked, but skidded into the accident scene instead.

Brown died at the scene, while Burchett died at a nearby hospital. No other serious injuries were reported.

Burchett was also Paintsville's assistant fire chief. All of the firefighters and EMS personnel who worked with her were met by counselors Tuesday afternoon to help with the grieving process.
The 33 year old is survived by her 14 year old daughter.


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  • by joanie Location: inez ky on Jan 20, 2009 at 04:24 AM
    this could have happened to any one but it just happened to be my brother. my brother was just trying to make a living that day you would had thought someone somebody would been flaging were somebody could see things like this would not happened my brother is a good person he would do any thing to help people not hurt them ilove you my brother and my kids love thier ancle
  • by joanie Location: inez on Jan 19, 2009 at 09:20 PM
    to my brother i know you have took this so hard but the lord knows it was not your fault iworry about you everyday i want you to know how much i love you
  • by N/A Location: Oilsprings on Mar 4, 2008 at 07:55 AM
    My thoughts and prayers are with ALL your families. I work on a strip mine and i for one realize trucking is a tough job. One that can make or break you, That horrible day when we got news of the wreck on 460 it lit up our CB's like a Christmas tree. We tuned in to 98.9 and listened as the news just kept getting worse by the minute. By the time we heard that two members of our community had lost their lives everything slowed down on the mine. Everyone's thoughts were with the families of all involved. I still think about it now, wondering what i would do. As far as this Tom goes he seems like a Well Educated man who seems to think with a one track mind. He must be a Lawyer. I geuss that he thinks you can stop on a solid sheet of ICE. He must sit behind a desk and never go outside in the elements like the EMT's and truck drivers. Its was a blind curve and very bad road conditions. Listen to the people who know, who live there,and who work there. We Know!
  • by Anonymous Location: Springfield, Ohio on Feb 6, 2008 at 03:21 PM
    My condolances to the families involved in this accident. May God heal the wound in your heart and lives. To all involved it was an accident that happened, no one person is to blame for it. Everything that could be done was done. Time does heal all wounds.
  • by Anonymous Location: OHIO on Jan 30, 2008 at 09:17 AM
    I AM A FAMILY MEMBER OF ERICA BROWN, WHO WAS KILLED IN THE ACCIDENT AND I CAN SAY THAT NO ONE BLAMES ANYONE FOR THIS ACCIDENT. WOULD WE HAVE LIKED TO SEE THINGS DONE DIFFERENTLY, YES OF COURSE. WE ALL MISS ERICA SO MUCH. MY ONLY WISH WOULD BE FOR THE COAL TRUCK DRIVERS TO BE MORE CAREFUL B/C THEY DO HAVE SUCH BIG LOADS. WE DROVE DOWN FROM OHIO TO BE AT ERICA'S SERVICES AND ONCE WE HIT KY, ALL THE COAL TRUCK DRIVERS WERE DRIVING VERY RECKLESS. THEY WERE GOING AT FAST SPEEDS AND PASSING PEOPLE LEFT AND RIGHT.
  • by Greg Location: Hueysville on Jan 29, 2008 at 08:16 PM
    First, my condolences goes out to the families of those who were killed during this accident. I'm sure that there are many coal truck drivers who are responsible and careful drivers. However, if anyone doubts that a great many of them drive recklessly I suggest they sit by the side of Route 23 on any given weekday morning. I have driven US 23 daily for over 10 years between Prestonsburg and Ashland. I have seen numerous accidents during that time. The majority of the accidents that I have seen have involved coal trucks. A lot them have no regard for others on the highway. Yes, they cant stop on a dime. Thats why THEY should be extra careful on the highway. The greater responsiblity is with them. On the days that there arent LEOs patroling, the norm is for them to bunch together in groups of 2 or more and put the petal to the metal. It doesnt matter if its raining, snowing, or foggy they speed. Their paycheck depend on how many loads they can move downriver (and how fast they can return.
  • by ANONYMOUS Location: Johnson County, KY on Jan 29, 2008 at 07:38 PM
    THE LOSS OF ERICA AND CHRISTA IS DEVASTATING MY HEART GOES OUT TO THEIR FAMILIES WHO LOVED THEM SO MUCH. I COULDN'T IMAGINE HOW THEY FEEL.EVERYONE IS ON HERE POINTING FINGERS AND BLAME BUT THE TRUTH IS THAT WAS A REAL BAD CURVE AND A BLIND ONE AT THAT. I KNOW FOR A FACT I LIVE RIGHT BELOW IT. I THINK THE FAULT SHOULD BE LEFT ON THE POLICE OFFICERS FOR NOT STOPPING TRAFFIC ON BOTH SIDES UNTIL THE WRECK WAS CLEAR AND ERICA WAS ON HER WAY TO THE HOSPITAL. THIS WAS SUCH A TRAGIC ACCIDENT. I AM NOT BLAMING THE COAL TRUCK DRIVER WHO KNOWS HE MAY HAVE BEEN A GOOD DRIVER, BUT SOME ARE CARELESS AND DRIVE WAY TO FAST. THEY NEED TO START WATCHING THE ROADS AND SLOW THEIR SPEED DOWN. I HAVE SEEN SO MANY OF THEM DRIVE WRECKLESS AND SCARE ME TO DEATH. YES COAL TRUCK DRIVERS ARE AT FAULT FOR MOST WRECKS BUT HOWEVER I DON'T THINK THE DRIVER WAS AT FAULT FOR THIS ONE. I PRAY FOR THE FAMILIES OF ERICA AND CHRISTA AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU THEY WILL BE TRULY MISSED.
  • by the facts Location: Paintsville, Ky on Jan 29, 2008 at 07:05 AM
    I am an EMT and I got the call Tuesday morning to be enroute to 460 due to a coal truck wreck. I fishtailed the whole way there at 15 to 20 miles per hour. I didn't know what I was going into but it doesn't matter that is what we do. There was no way someone was speeding that day because it was impossiable to get over 25 mph. I can't say exactly what happen because I wasn't there until after the wrecks but if this trucker had been speeding then he wouldn't have gotten stopped where he did. The accident happened in a blind curve and if he had been doing 5 mph and hit his brakes he still couldn't stop. When I got there I watched a Firefighter standing in the road and was sliding down the incline of the road and didn't even know it. Thats how slick it was that day. It was just a horrible day and I am sure everyone involved feels responsible and they shouldn't. The only thing to blame was the falling ice and if you want to blame God I don't want to be in your shoes!!!
  • by jeremygarmon Location: edmonton ky on Jan 27, 2008 at 10:04 PM
    my prays go out to the families of Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Burchett. There is no greater lose than the lose of a a loved one and a commrade.
  • by AUNT PAT Location: SPRINGFIELD,OHIO on Jan 27, 2008 at 09:32 PM
    ERICA WAS A POET AND A WRITER.I THINK SHE WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE POSITIVE COMMENTS AND JUST SHARING ,POETRY,ANOTHERS REFLECTIONS ON WHAT THIS TRAGEDY HAS DONE TO MAKE YOU PULL CLOSER TO YOUR OWN FAMILIES.NEVER LEAVE WITHOUT AN 'I LOVE YOU' ERICA WILL NEVER LEAVE OUR HEARTS. I WROTE A POEM IN MEMORY OF MY BEAUTIFUL NIECE.[ JESUS TOOK THE WHEEL TODAY AND DROVE HER STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN.AND WHEN SHE SAW THOSE PEARLY GATES,HER FACE WITH SUCH A SMILE,LOOKED DOWN UPON HER FAMILY AND SAID 'I'LL SEE YOU IN AWHILE.'] PEACE.

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