Victims identified in deadly crash in Laurel County
Investigators have identified the victims in a fatal crash Monday night in Laurel County.
The crash happened around 9:30 p.m. on Old Way Road, east of London.
Investigators believe a Kia Rio was headed north when it came over a small hill on the wrong side of the road and struck a southbound Honda Odyssey van head-on. Both drivers were killed.
"The impact was catastrophic to both vehicles," said Deputy Gilbert Acciardo.
Laurel County Coroner Doug Bowling said the victims are Jamie Gilliam, 38, and James Dylan Johnson, 21.
Gilliam previously served as principal at Johnson Elementary School in Laurel County. She finished her first day in a new role with the district just hours before the crash.
Laurel County Schools Superintendent Dr. Doug Bennett released the following statement: "As a school district and community, we are deeply saddened by the loss of one so dear to us all personally and professionally. Jamie Gilliam was very special to us. She was a devoted mother and wife and tremendous in every role which she served. She was an excellent teacher and principal. Jamie was recently hired as our Director of Pupil Personnel. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.”
Gilliam's husband and their three kids were also in the van. Sheriff John Root says Kenneth Gilliam, 46, was taken to a local hospital with multiple injuries. Their three children, ages 14, 11, and 6, were also seriously injured. The oldest child and the youngest child were airlifted to Kentucky Children's Hospital in Lexington.
Johnson, who was the only occupant in his vehicle, was originally from Clay County. The coroner said Johnson recently moved to London. Family members say he loved to fish and was a volunteer firefighter.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Deputies say they are awaiting toxicology results which could take a couple of weeks.