Deadly intersection claims two more

Jack Latta jlatta@civitasmedia.com

September 10, 2013

PRESTONSBURG — Two people were killed in Floyd County last week in yet another accident on U.S. 23 at the intersection of Town Branch.

According to Prestonsburg Police, the accident occurred on Friday, at 2:36 p.m., at the intersection of U.S. 23 and Route 3584 (Town Branch), when a 1993 Pontiac sedan driven by 58-year-old Paula McConnell was struck by a 2009 Chevy pickup driven by 53-year-old Alvin Jarrell. Based on Prestonsburg Police Department’s preliminary investigation, McConnell’s vehicle was attempting to exit Town Branch, when it pulled in front of Jarrell’s vehicle.

McConnell was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. One of her passengers, 9-year-old Donovon Floyd, a student at Highland Elementary, was also seriously injured in the accident and was airlifted out to a Huntington hospital. Floyd died Monday from his injuries. McConnell was Floyd’s great aunt.

There was no word as of Tuesday on the severity of the injuries suffered by McConnell’s other passenger, 37-year-old Adam Kinder, of Prestonsburg. Jarrell was not listed in the police report as receiving any injuries in the crash.

On Tuesday, District 12 State Highway Department Information Officer Sara George released a statement, saying that following the tragic crash, renewed interest in the troubled intersection will lead to improvements.

“Following a public meeting a couple of years ago, engineers at D-12 started looking at improvement alternatives,” George said, adding that all of the site survey is now complete. “You may have seen surveyors in the area over the past several months.”

“A team is being put together of property owners and folks from the church, businesses, and residences in the area,” George continued. “They will consider the design alternatives developed by EA Partners, consulting engineers (from Lexington) on the project, and give their opinions to the district.”

George says that based on those findings, proposals will be presented to the public during a general public meeting to be scheduled at a later date.

“I will say that the addition of traffic signals in the area is doubtful,” George said. “The grade of the road is such that large trucks could not stop coming south down ‘Holiday Inn Hill’ toward Water Gap. Signals would likely cause more crashes than they might prevent.”

George says there are other engineering alternatives, and following the release of a completed report by EA Partners, District 12 representatives will try to make that information to available to the public as well as schedule the public meeting.

Prestonsburg Police were assisted at the scene by Prestonsburg Fire Department, Floyd County Sheriff’s Department, TranStar Ambulance, the Kentucky State Police, and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. No charges have been filed in the accident. However, it does remain under investigation.