PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A Kentucky State Police trooper killed in a collision along an eastern Kentucky highway Tuesday night was turning onto a median and didn't see the other vehicle, authorities said Wednesday.
Jonathan K. Leonard, 28, died almost 18 years to the day from the last death of a Kentucky state trooper in the line of duty, state police said.
The driver of the other vehicle, Eugene Sisco Jr., 45, was in serious condition at University of Kentucky Medical Center, said Trooper Scott Hopkins, spokesman for the Kentucky State Police in Pikeville.
State Police Commissioner Jack Adams said Leonard was responding to a non-emergency call and was turning to meet another trooper on the median when the crash occurred. Adams said details of the accident were still under investigation, and no citations had been issued.
"Without getting into specifics, it's obvious he didn't see the other vehicle," Adams said. "It was a tragic accident."
Adams spoke to reporters after laying a wreath in memory of Leonard at the Fallen Trooper Memorial in Frankfort.
Leonard was pronounced dead at the scene of the 6:20 p.m. EST crash on U.S. 119 in Sidney in Pike County.
Gov. Ernie Fletcher directed that flags at all state office buildings remain at half-staff in honor of Leonard. Flags were at half-staff for Staff Sgt. Thomas W. Clemons, a Kentucky Guardsman who died of a heart attack on Dec. 11 while preparing to go on patrol with his team near Ad Diwaniyah, Iraq.
"This is a tragic loss for the Kentucky State Police and we will keep the family, friends and colleagues of Trooper Leonard in our thoughts and prayers," Fletcher said. "This tragedy is a stark reminder of the tremendous sacrifice made on a daily basis by those who protect us and enforce laws."
Leonard had worked for the agency for three years, all at the Pikeville post.
He was the 24th trooper killed in the line of duty in the agency's 58-year history and the first since Trooper Johnny Edrington was killed Dec. 21, 1988 in Laurel County, police said.
Visitation is set for 5-9 p.m. Friday at Hatfield Funeral Home in Toler. Funeral services are set for 11 a.m. Saturday at New Belfry High School in Goody.