Teen's Death Prompts Highway Changes

By: Janet Kim Email
By: Janet Kim Email

A father's worst nightmare.

"You don't expect to lose a child," says Ric Penn. "It's been really tough. You don't get over something like this."

Ric Penn's 18-year-old daughter Jennifer died in March. She was headed home to Georgetown after performing in the "Wizard of Oz" at Franklin County High. With slick roads and driving at a speed between 55 and 60 miles per hour, her car hit a guardrail along U.S. 460.

"The 'what if's', they'll be with me the rest of my life," says Penn.

When Jennifer was killed along U.S. 460, chevron markers were not there. They've since been put up by the state, but her family doesn't know if that's enough to prevent this tragedy.

Along with the chevron additions, the Department of Transportation is considerations additional changes. The Kentucky Department of Transportation representatives say Secretary Joe Prather has requested to evaluate flashing beacons and installing high friction material to the road.

At 18, Jennifer had a full life ahead. She was preparing for her prom, which will be held this Saturday, exactly 9 weeks from the accident. The high school senior was also soon headed for college at the University of Louisville.

Though her life was cut short, her family hopes changes will be made so no one else will go through their pain.

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  • by Ric Penn Location: Georgetown on Jun 1, 2009 at 02:36 PM
    How come when asked what I thought needed to be done to correct the curve my thoughts were omitted? Chevrons won't fix that curve, but changing the guard rail from a blunt end to one that is turned down or curved away from the road would have saved Jenn's life.
  • by FCHS Mom on May 15, 2009 at 09:53 AM
    US 460 is long overdue critical improvements. Previously, when these were considered, attempts were barked down by historians who feel it's more important to preserve the old rock walls that run along some parts of the road as they would have to be taken down and reassembled if the road improvements were done. Maybe it's just me but I believe the preservation of human life is a far more important cause. The world lost so much when we lost Jenn. I can't pass through this horrible curve without thinking of her and grieving for her loss of such a beautiful & promising life. Ric, you and all Jenn's loved ones remain in my prayers. What a splash of vibrancy Jenn brought with her to heaven. She will always be missed and loved.
  • by justin Location: richmond on May 15, 2009 at 04:58 AM
    SICKENING! they ALWAYS wait until someone gets killed BEFORE they do anything about a bad intersection, stretch of road, etc. it's so sad, but it's the truth. I've seen it happen many times. They'll wait til at least one person gets killed at an intersection before they'll put up a traffic-light. sometimes they wait til there's a 'few' deaths before they do it. It's called "Government". They listen to no-one unless they're filthy-rich. and why? because they're so big and powerful that they don't care one thing about us 'little' people. sure, they put on a big show, acting all concerned and all that. but the truth is - they couldn't care any less about any of us "have-nots" even if they tried. WHEN are people going to wake up? never. because most people think government is wonderful. it's just sad - so very very sad...


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