Charges Filed In Deadly I-75 Crash

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According to Kentucky State Police at least three people are dead, and nine more people have been injured in a crash on Interstate 75 in Whitley County.

Police say Raymond Garner of Tennessee was heading northbound, when he lost control of his pick-up, crossed the median and hit three other vehicles. Investigators have now charged Garner with three counts of murder. State Police say he was drunk at the time of the crash.

Police tell 27 NEWSFIRST that 25-year-old Cindy Hass of Cleveland died in the crash. She was pregnant. Her unborn child also died.
We've also learned that 8-year-old Gus Pontikis of Illinois was killed.

Police tell 27 NEWFIRST 14 people in all were involved in the accident.
Dispatchers say most of the injured went to the University of Tennessee Hospital, while others went to UK, the Corbin Hospital, and the hospital in Jellico.

I-75 southbound was closed at the ten mile marker; just south of Williamsburg. Those lanes have since re-opened.

Now 27 NEWSFIRST has learned this isn't Garner's first DUI in Kentucky. Just recently he pleaded guilty in Clark County to driving under the influence.

According to court records Garner blew a .104 on a portable breath test back in March.

In May, he pleaded guilty to the charge and agreed to pay a $500 fine.
He was also ordered to undergo alcohol counseling and had his license suspended.

AP Story
WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (AP) - A pregnant woman from Cleveland (Ohio)
is one of at least two people killed in a crash on Interstate 75 in southern Kentucky.

Kentucky State Police say an out-of-control pickup truck crossed the median last night and struck three oncoming vehicles.

Twenty-five-year-old Cindy Haas was in one of them, a minivan that also carried five others from Cleveland. Haas was killed in the wreck, along with an eight-year-old boy from Illinois.

State police say several injured people were taken to hospitals in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Truck driver Raymond Garner of Andersonville, Tennessee, has been charged with drunken driving and three murder counts. One murder charge stems from the death of Haas's unborn baby.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by Amy Location: tn on Jul 25, 2007 at 02:39 PM
    I thank everyone for there prayers. Hay Hay just got out yesterday and Cj doing better with each day. I just want to everyone to know that this is not easy and to think before you get in a car this could be your family.
  • by Amy Location: knoxville,tn on Jul 25, 2007 at 02:37 PM
    My sister Category: Life ..> Cindy Sue Haas; son Nathan Graycloud ..> ..> Cindy Sue Haas, age 25, and her unborn son, Nathan Gray-cloud, of Cleveland, Ohio, passed away Monday, July 9, 2007. Survivors include children: C.J. Parsons, age 9, Hayley Parsons, age 5, and Natalie Graycloud, age 2; Mother: Tammy Haas; Special friend: Deborah White; Grandparents: James and Charlotte Burnside; Sisters: Amy Jo Haas, Alice Annette Haas, Kimberly Taylor; Nephews: Nicolas and Tay'Von Haas. Family and friends will meet 1 p.m. Friday in Smoky Mountain Memory Gardens for a graveside service. Arrangements by Atch-ley Funeral Home, Sevierville, Tennessee, (www.atchleyfuneralhome.com)
  • by TDB Location: Ohio on Jul 22, 2007 at 05:30 AM
    Just wanted the families, and victims of this horrible accident, to know strangers are praying for you. We passed that area shortly before it happened. It could have been any of us on that road going south. We were aware that there were more patrol cars on I-75, going from Ohio to Florida than in previous years. We lost count at 35-40 total. Life is fragile and we cannot control all those that pass through ours, but know that this accident affected all who heard about it. We are very saddened by your loss.
  • by amy H Location: knoxville tn on Jul 17, 2007 at 08:26 PM
    i just wanted to thank everyone. This is so hard for our family right now. but these babies need are full attention. I hate that some people are so pitty and selfish at a time like this. I asked a friend to walk my dogs 2 times a day because i have been at the hospital everyday but 1 day and she could even do that living right there. I just hope people know that we do thank the people are helping us. We want are babies to get better and wish my sister was here too. But i hate it all. this all sucks and that is what i repeat so much this sucks its not fair!!!!! I know in cleveland that they did a fund raiser for the kids but there step father that my sister was about to leave will not give us nothing of the kids are the fund raising money to help with the bills. So selfish of him. I hate this world we live in why are people so selfish please someone help understand why this happen to my sister and these babies. they need there mother more than anything...lossed and confused once again THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR PRAYERS!
  • by John Location: NKY on Jul 17, 2007 at 07:46 AM
    If you indefinitely suspended every license of every person that ever blew above .08 only about 20%(or less) of us would be still driving. Garner's first DUI was a .108, which up until ~8 years ago, was nearly legal (til they lowered it to 0.08). So you want to suspend his license forever? Seems harsh and unreasonable. The higher the reading, the harsher the penalty. But don't be a hypocrite. And if you've never drank a drop and driven, Good for you. Everyone Should be that way, but they're not. No one should ever drink, smoke, do drugs, steal, harrass, kill, etc., etc., but guess what, people do.
  • by Brandon Location: North Carolina on Jul 17, 2007 at 06:20 AM
    From what I have heard, the little girl, Hailey who was Cindy's daughter has started talking, and has underwent several surgies. Her brother Charles has still not woke up from the accident. I spoke to the childrens father over the weekend, and they are doing the best they can!!! We still pray for your family, and the Haas family. This was such a horrible tragedy that could have been prevented! God bless all of you! Brandon
  • by Anonymous Location: Park Ridge, Illinois on Jul 16, 2007 at 07:38 PM
    Today I attended the funeral of 8 year old Gus Pontikis. He is now at rest. The family is in shock and holding up the best they can. They are surrounded by family and friends. Their only request is prayers for Gus, the other victims of this tragedy, and all the families involved. If you know the condition of the other victims, please post it for us to find. Thank you.
  • by Kris Location: Urbana, Ohio on Jul 15, 2007 at 03:41 PM
    C.J. and Hailey are my niece and nephew, their father is my brother-in-law and he is beside himself. Both children are continuing to improve and both are out of the PICU unit and on the main floor, but both have a very long road ahead of them. Losing Cindy has hit everyone pretty hard, she was an AMAZING mother and a great friend and her loss is overwhelming. For those of you who are sending prayers and loving thoughts, thank you God hears all. I am sick at the thought that this man who caused this could have been stopped before but that because of technicalities he got out of jail..I agree there needs to be something done about drunk drivers but what can be done...take their licenses sure..they will just drive without them...so what really can be done. Please continue to keep the family in your prayers. God bless.
  • by RICK Location: URBANA, OHIO on Jul 13, 2007 at 11:48 PM
    I have been friends with the father and grandmother of Charles (CJ) and Hailey Parsons - since before they were even born..... And, I think it is absolutely pathetic how some people are bickering over whether it was a truck driver - or someone driving a pick-up truck that caused the accident - as well as other irrelevant issues.... Some people are so involved in these petty and insignificant details - that they are not even concerned about a brother and sister that are lying in the UK Hospital fighting for their lives! Not to mention the fact that their mother and her unborn baby was killed by a drunk driver..... I have seen more compassion and sympathy from hard-core prison inmates than I have from some of the people that left their comments below.... Instead of leaving your worthless comments - why don't you find a little compassion in your hearts - and send CJ - (who is actually 10 years old) - and Hailey - (who is 5 years old) - a stuffed animal or something - that will lift their spirits and maybe bring a smile to their faces..... To those who expressed their sympathy and concern, I would like to express the gratitude of CJ and Hailey's father, grandmother and other family members - for your kind words, prayers and sympathy... Your compassion and concern is greatly appreciated!
  • by Anonymous Location: lexington on Jul 12, 2007 at 02:13 PM
    It seems truck drivers are taking great intrest.If the trucks were put in a lane of their own,and trucks would only do 55 mph every one would be mucher safer. Take notice for example when roads are slick they are always the ones passing everything on the road,tailgating,switching lanes and anything else they can do to get ahead of everyone on the road.

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