A pileup on Interstate-75 killed one person and caused a major backup Sunday evening. The crash happened in between exit 59 and exit 62 in Rockcastle County. Investigators had to shut down the interstate leaving people stuck in traffic for hours.
Collision reconstruction teams had their work cut out for them trying to figure out the sequence of crashes involving as many as eight vehicles including three semi-trucks at the primary crash site. As the investigation and the cleanup went on for hours, drivers sat motionless. Kevin Young was just behind the main crash site and recalled the wet conditions state police say contributed to the wrecks. "As you tried to come up beside a truck, it was really foggy-like around all the wheels and the rain coming off, so you had to be real careful," Young said.
Like many drivers, Young spent hours not knowing the extent of the crashes, but as he shot photos of helicopters airlifting the victims, he got a sense of the seriousness. "When you see three lifeline helicopters, I think it was three, when you see three come and go, you know it's bad," Young said, "and then you just start hoping that nobody got hurt seriously, and then the grapevine starts passing along how bad it really is."
A coroner pronounced dead the driver of one of the vehicles, 55-year-old Keith Holbrook from Beaver Creek, Ohio. His passenger and two of the occupants of another SUV were flown to UK Hospital where they were treated for what officers with Commercial Vehicle Enforcement describe as non-life-threatening injuries.
After more than three hours, police were able to open one northbound lane, but several drivers remained stuck while the cleanup continued.
About three hours later around 10:15pm, police opened the second northbound lane, but traffic continued to move slowly as a result of the backup.