A Gray man died and a second man suffered serious injuries following a head-on collision on U.S. 25W near Oak Grove Elementary School Thursday morning.
Whitley County Coroner Andy Croley identified the deceased as 36-year-old Willard Brown.
According to Whitley County Sheriff’s deputies, the wreck occurred at 11:22 a.m. when a Kia Rio sedan that was traveling north crossed the centerline and struck a Chevrolet Silverado 3500 dual-wheeled pickup truck.
Oak Grove firefighters used the Jaws-of-Life to extricate the driver and one passenger from the Kia. A helicopter-landing zone was established at Oak Grove Elementary.
Croley said the helicopter that was to take Brown to the University of Kentucky Medical Center was diverted to Baptist Health Corbin because he needed immediate medical treatment.
Brown arrived at the hospital but later died.
The passenger, whom officials with the sheriff’s department have identified as 21-year-old Joshua Vanover, has been airlifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center.
The driver of the pickup truck, identified as 56-year-old Gary Amburgey of Mt. Sterling, was taken by ambulance to Baptist Health Corbin where he was treated and released.
U.S. 25W was closed to traffic for more than two hours as emergency personnel worked to clear the scene.
Adam Sulfridge, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s department said no autopsy was performed on Brown. However, standard procedure in the case of a fatal wreck is to perform a toxicology test on the drivers to definitively rule out the use of drugs or alcohol as a factor.
Sulfridge said deputies are still awaiting the results of the test.
“No evidence of drug or alcohol use was found in or about the vehicle,” Sulfridge said.