Last updated: July 18. 2013 8:06PM - 243 Views
Sheldon Compton



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DRAFFIN A crash leading into the Labor Day weekend on Sept. 2 in the Pike County area of Draffin left one man dead and several injured.
According to Kentucky State Police, Stephen Balo was driving a dirt bike eastbound along Route 460 when he struck a 1996 Chevy Beretta driven by Deborah Ratliff of Pond Creek.
Police said Ratliff, who was not injured in the accident, was attempting to make a turn in the westbound lane at the time of the collision.
After this, police said Balo then collided with a 2003 Pontiac van driven by Elva Norman of East Shelbiana Road.
Two passengers that were in Normans vehicle were treated and released for minor injuries, while Balo and his passenger, 22-year-old Eric Hatfield, of Elkhorn City, were both thrown from the dirt bike.
Hatfield was pronounced dead on the scene by Pike County Deputy Coroner Denver Bailey and Balo was airlifted to Johnson City Memorial Hospital.
The accident is being investigated by Trooper Jamie Rose. He was assisted on the scene by Sgt. Randy Woods, Trooper Jerry Perkins, Trooper Jim Anderson, Elkhorn City Ambulance and the Ferrells Creek Fire Department.
The accident occurred as police officers were readying themselves to approach the Labor Day weekend.
Over this years holiday period, 27 people were killed on state roadways in 26 separate crashes. Eight of the wrecks involved the suspected use of alcohol.
During last years Labor Day holiday there were 13 fatal crashes and 279 injuries on Kentuckys roadways.
As of statistics beginning Sept. 3, the day after Hatfield was killed in the Route 460 crash, a total of 534 people have died with 120 of the victims being the result of crashes that involved the use of alcohol and 234 crashes where people were not wearing seatbelts.
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