Child Killed In DUI-related Accident

By: Sean Evans Email
By: Sean Evans Email

They were traveling south on highway 321 around 3:30 p.m. when a truck driven by Robert Shawn Powers of Hager Hill crossed the center line and hit their car.
Police spent part of the day Thursday reconstructing and say speed was likely a factor in the crash.

"Today we have learned, our initial preliminary statistics, between 90 and 101," said Sgt. Matthew Ferguson of the Johnson County Sheriff's Department.

When police responded to the scene, they arrested Powers and charged him with driving under the influence. He was later charged with murder.

The only passenger in the car severely injured was 11-year old Austyn Stapleton. He was rushed to the hospital but died later of his injuries.
Students and faculty at Our Lady of the Mountains are mourning his loss.

"We talked about Austyn's and his yesterday, and his last days with us, and then the support team came," said school administrator Catherine Cybriwsky.

Those at the school spent the day reflecting on Austyn's life and what he meant to them.

"He was purely delightful. He was one of those kids that never caused trouble and got along with everybody, and he really will be missed by the kids," siad Cybriwsky.

"Austyn had the most beautiful blue eyes I've ever seen on any child, and that's what we were all commenting on today."

Visitation for Austyn is set for 5 p.m. Sunday at St. Michaels Church in Paintsville. His funeral will be at the church at 1pm on Monday.

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