Name released in deadly U.S. 23 crash

Name released in deadly U.S. 23 crash
Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 8:25 AM EDT
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FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - The Prestonsburg Police Department has released the name of a man who died Wednesday morning in a two-vehicle accident near the U.S. 23 and state Route 80 interchange.

Prestonsburg Police Department Capt. Ross Shurtleff said Jerome Jenkins, of Prestonsburg, died in the crash after his truck was hit by the car Steven Newsome, of Virgie, was driving.

Shurtleff says around 7 a.m. police received multiple 911 calls of a vehicle driving erratically in the wrong lane of traffic.

He said Newsome was semi-conscious, suffering from a medical emergency, and had been driving north in the southbound lanes of U.S. 23 for about 3 miles before hitting Jenkins’ vehicle.

“No doubt, he was suffering from a medical emergency. There was nothing that he could have done to prevent what happened,” Shurtleff said. “He has given us anything we’ve needed and is cooperating fully with our investigation.”

Shawn Allen, who works near where the crash happened, says he knows people who passed Newsome driving the wrong way.

“They had told me about how they were almost hit head-on. A friend of mine that works in Pikeville that was taking his son to school, so it’s a very scary situation,” Allen said.

Allen was detoured as he drove into work and saw the aftermath of the crash.

“All I could make out was a large truck that had been overturned laying next to the guardrail, and then the other vehicle that was involved, it didn’t even look like a vehicle,” he said. “You couldn’t even make out what it actually was there was so much damage.”

He says it’s a difficult sight to see, especially in a small community.

“Everybody knows everybody. Whether you know people through work, through church, or your kids go to school together. You often wonder immediately, is it someone you know? Is it someone you care about? Is it someone you work with?” Allen said.

The southbound lanes of U.S. 23 were shut down Wednesday morning after the accident but have since reopened.

Because it is a death investigation, the case will be presented to a grand jury. Police do not expect any charges.

Newsome was transported to the hospital, and police say he is in stable condition.

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