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Monday on Interstate 24 has left two sisters from Iowa dead and seven others injured.
According to a release from Kentucky State Police, a preliminary investigation revealed the Christian County Sheriff’s Office was responding to a non injury accident in the westbound lanes of I 24 near the 79 mile marker. That accident caused the westbound lanes of traffic to close and was backed up to the 80 mile marker.
James Lee, 39, Mulberry, Tennessee, was operating a 2000 Freightliner tractor trailer when he approached the stopped traffic and was reportedly unable to stop. Lee’s tractor trailer struck a 2015 F 150 in the right line that was operated by 55 year old Mary Engrav, Waukon, Iowa.
Engrav was pronounced dead at the scene by Zach Lamb, assistant coroner for Christian County. The front passenger in Engrav’s vehicle, Barbara Winters Kelly, 61, Waterville, Iowa, was transported by ambulance to Tennova Medical Center in Clarksville with non life threatening injuries. A rear passenger, 58 year old Joan Lyons, was flown by AirEvac to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. after arrival at Vanderbilt, according to Tavia Smith, information officer for the hospital. Engrav and Lyons were sisters, according to Jeremy Troendle, editor of The Standard Newspaper in Waukon. Social media reports indicate Winters Kelly is another sister.
The impact of the collision reportedly caused Engrav’s truck to strike the rear portion of a 2016 Freightliner tractor trailer. The tractor trailer was operated by Jeffrey Bartlett, 64, Gray, Georgia, who was uninjured.
Lee’s tractor trailer swerved into the westbound lane of travel and struck a 2014 Chevrolet car driven by 79 year old Ronald Logan, Lomax, Illinois,
as well as a Honda car driven by Lawrence Boykin and a Kia Optima driven by Alicia Sheerer, 29, Princeton. Lee, Logan, Boykin and Sheerer were transported by ambulance to Jennie Stuart Medical Center in Hopkinsville for non life threatening injuries.
The vehicles also collided with a 2011 Toyota operated by Robert Kellogg Jr., 67, Hendersonville, Tennessee, a 2014 Honda occupied by Wayne Goerss, 69, and Kathy Goerss, 67, both of St. Charles, Mississippi, and a commercial vehicle driven by Jason Higgins, 44, Elkton. Kellogg was taken to JSMC for non life threatening injuries. Kathy Goerss was transported to Tennova for non life threatening injuries and Higgins was uninjured.
Vehicles belonging to Kellogg and Sheerer remained close to Lee’s tractor trailer, but all occupants of those vehicles were able to exit with assistance before the vehicles were fully engulfed by flames.
KSP is still investigating the collision. They were assisted at the scene by Christian County Sheriff’s Office, Oak Grove Fire Department, Hopkinsville Fire and EMS, Fort Campbell Fire Department, Fort Campbell EMS, Air Evac, Herndon Volunteer Fire Department, Pembroke Volunteer Fire Department, Christian County Rescue Team,
Square Deal Volunteer Fire Department and the Christian County Emergency Management.