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Police still investigating fatal wrong-way crash

By: Marcus Conroy Email
By: Marcus Conroy Email

State Police are trying to figure out how and why a driver on US 23 ended up in the wrong lane, resulting in a deadly crash.

The drivers of both cars died in the head-on crash near Jenkins in Letcher County.

Police say Michael Gullett was heading south toward Virginia, but was actually in the wrong lane. He collided head-on with John Caudill, who was heading north.in the same lane.

At the spot of the collision, US 23 is two lanes on both sides with a barrier in between. Police say there is a clear distinction between the northbound and southbound lanes, which is why they are trying to figure out how Michael Gullett ended up in the wrong lane.

"If you're from around the area, you know the layout of the roadway. it's very uncommon to see something like that," said KSP Trooper Derek Hall.

Gullett was killed in the accident, and so was the driver of the car he hit, John Caudill.

"Anybody that knows John, knows that he was a unique young man. He was 30 years old and completely dedicated to the Lord," said Charlene Mason, Caudill's friend.

Mason was in a gospel group, Master's Harmony, with Caudill, who was the bass player in the group.

"The only singing that John ever missed on purpose was last weekend when he and his wife went to Virginia Beach to celebrate their second anniversary," said Mason.

Mary Caudill was next to John during the accident, but she survived the crash and is listed in stable condition in a Tennessee hospital. Mason says Caudill's death has shaken the community, but she takes comfort that he is in a better place.

"That's our ultimate goal, is to get where he's going. We'll get through this, but we need our church family and our community to come together for us one more time,"

Caudill's funeral arrangements have not been made yet.

The family of Michael Gullett was too upset to talk.

His visitation will be after 6:00 pm on Wednesday and Thursday at the Carty Funeral Home in Neon. The funeral will be Friday at one at the chapel.

Abigail Gullett, Gullett's three year old daughter, was also injured in the accident. She is listed in good condition in a Tennessee hospital.


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