Austyn Stapleton, 11, of Prestonsburg and a student at Our Lady of the Mountains School, was killed along Route 321 when the car he was a passenger in was struck by a Ford Ranger driven by Robert S. Powers, 32, of Hager Hill.
According to police, Stapleton was a passenger in a Pontiac Grand Am driven by Prestonsburg resident Michelle Stapleton when the two vehicles collided after Powers crossed the center line and hit the car, adding, at this point, that investigators could only say that it seems speed was a factor in the accident.
Stapleton was severely injured in the crash and died of injuries sustained in the accident after being taken to the hospital following the collision.
Powers was arrested at the scene and has since been charged with driving under the influence and murder in connection to Stapleton’s death.
Our Lady of the Mountains administrators, faculty and students alike mourned the 11-year-old’s death in the days following the accident, referring to him in recent interviews as “delightful” and having “the most beautiful blue eyes.”
Grief counselors spent the days following the fatal accident at the school with anyone in need of help in dealing with the tragedy.
Visitation took place for Stapleton at 5 p.m. this past Sunday at St. Michael’s Church in Paintsville and his funeral was conducted the following afternoon.