WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

Samaritan's Death Sparks Investigation

By: Dave Spencer Email
By: Dave Spencer Email

47-year-old Charles Owens was struck and killed Wednesday while trying to help a driver that hydro-planed off the interstate.

The Transportation Cabinet began looking at that stretch of the interstate Friday after the Owen's family called for change.

Crews are now investigating why the accident happened on that stretch of highway where Charles Owens was killed.

The Owen's family knows Charles' death was an accident, but they also know it could have been avoided and that doesn't make it any easier to deal with.

"If this has happened before it can happen many times again and accidents are accidents, but we would hate to have this happen again," said Leah Pharris, the victim's stepdaughter.

According to police accident reports, 5 hydroplane accidents have occurred within a two miles stretch of I-64 and member's of the Owen's family say those numbers could increase.

So they want to know why this happening and more importantly is anyone doing anything to stop it?

"Any loss of life is tragic especially on a highway and it's something we strive for everyday to reduce and so it's something we take very serious," says David Thacker who's with the Kentucky Transportation Department.

Thacker says it doesn't take much water to separate the car from the pavement, when the rain is coming down.

"You can hydroplane in as little as an 1/8 of inch of water."

He says crews clean the interstate drains every six months, and pick up trash weekly in order reduce accidents from happening. But his investigation today turned up empty.

"After the initial investigation the crews found no structural problems with the interstate, but admit it's hard to recreate what mother nature can do," said Thacker.


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