WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

Whitley Co. family suffers two setbacks in one day

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

WHITLEY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Rescuers call it a "freak accident," and it came during something Roy Thomas has likely done before said Danny Moses, Whitley County's Emergency Management Director.

Thomas was under his house thawing out his water line when a floor beam crashed down onto him. No one knows, yet, what caused the beam to collapse in the crawl space.

"It was an older house. It could've been just ready to come down," speculated Moses.

A person close to the family tells me Thomas' family heard his cries for help and called 911.

"We had one fireman that was able to get under there to him, it was real low, " described Moses, "The best thing to do was to take a chainsaw and cut the floor up."

Thomas' twin brother, Troy, is a fireman in Williamsburg. He was at the scene to help pull his brother out. Moses described the injuries as life threatening and said Thomas had to be flown to University of Tennessee.

"Troy is also en route. He went up to UT hospital," added Moses.

To call it a rough day for this Whitley County family would be putting it mildly. Just a short time later they got some more troubling news.

"Troy, his wife's father was missing and we've been searching for him for two days," explained Moses.

William "Dan" Oakes Sr., 62, was reportedly last seen on January 3rd by some friends, according to Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell. Oakes is the father to Roy Thomas' sister-in-law. Just a short time after Thomas was pinned, Oakes was found dead.

"He was located between I-75 and the Clear Fork River," stated Sheriff Harrell, "viewing the body I could see no foul play and no signs of a scuffle around the immediate scene. We just have to wait for the results from the autopsy."

That autopsy will be conducted Friday. Meanwhile this family will have to wait for many troubling answers between losing one loved one and waiting, hoping for word on another's recovery.


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