Sunday, July 08, 2001

Kentucky Digest

Eight hurt after car crosses center line

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        OWEN COUNTY — Eight people were injured, six seriously, in a two-vehicle crash east of Owenton Saturday afternoon.

        State police said the crash occurred 12:40 p.m. on Ky. 330 when a vehicle driven by Gary Lee Roberts, 21, of Cincinnati crossed the center line and struck an oncoming vehicle driven by Todd A. Goodrich, 37, of Corinth.

        Mr. Roberts was seriously injured and taken by helicopter to the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, state police reported. All of Mr. Roberts' four passengers were also injured. They are:

        Stephanie Slubowski, 17, Sparta, serious, taken to UK Medical Center; Robert B. Walker, 19, and Curee Hill, 17 both of Owenton and in serious condition, taken to Owen Memorial; and Ronald Howard, 16, Corinth, serious, taken to Owen Memorial.

        Mr. Goodrich was seriously injured and taken to Owen Memorial. His two passengers were also injured. Cannon Goodrich, 3, and John Goodrich, 11, both of Corinth, were taken to Owne Memorial Hospital and treated for minor injuries.

        Everyone in the Goodrich vehicle was wearing seatbelts. None of the people in the Roberts vehicle wore seatbelts, state police said.

Boy electrocuted as bucket touches fence

               GLASGOW, Ky. — An 11-year-old boy died after being electrocuted in a field next to his home in Barren County.

        Christian Montanna Sydnor was pronounced dead at 3 p.m. CDT Friday at T.J. Samson Community Hospital, Barren County Coroner Mike Swift said.

        Mr. Swift said the boy was attempting to go under an electric fence while carrying a metal feed bucket. The victim's feet were in a puddle of water when his forehead touched the fence, sending a jolt of electricity through his body and out through his hand, Mr. Swift said.

        Officials said the boy was discovered about 15 minutes later by his parents.

Helicopter crash blamed on pilot

               LEXINGTON — An improper evaluation of weather conditions contributed to a helicopter crash that killed a Clay County doctor and two employees last year, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

        Dr. Fred Collatz, 45, was flying the four-seat Robinson R-44 aircraft when it hit a tree on a ridge near Sandgap in Jackson County, then plunged down the hillside and burst into flames.

        Dr. Collatz, a cardiologist, and employees Kelly Stewart, 32, a radiologist, and computer specialist Jeremy Harrod, 21, died in the crash.

        The probable cause of the accident was that Dr. Collatz did not properly evaluate the weather and flew too low, the NTSB said. Isolated fog, night conditions and dark terrain were also factors.

        The NTSB said weather conditions required night-instrument flight. The helicopter was not approved for flight in instrument meteorological conditions, and Dr. Collatz was not rated for instrument flight.

        The NTSB said Dr. Collatz was heading from Manchester to Lexington to pick up equipment for his practice. There is no record he contacted the Federal Aviation Administration for a weather briefing.

        Forecasts the night of the crash indicated occasional low clouds, reduced visibility and mist or fog, and the potential for icing.

        Dr. Collatz had earned his pilot's license seven months before the crash.

Task force takes look at brownfields

               LOUISVILLE — The conversion of polluted industrial sites into useful space was at the center of a meeting of Gov. Paul Patton's Task Force on Smart Growth Friday.

        The committee took a bus tour of some of the former sites — called brownfields — that have been recycled into city parks and football fields.

        Mr. Patton appointed the 35-member Smart Growth Task Force in May. The group is charged with looking for ways to encourage Kentucky cities and counties to better use their land.

Judge taking leave for alcohol treatment

               LEXINGTON — A Bourbon County district judge charged last week with his second DUI in three years has removed himself from the bench to seek treatment and will resume his duties in August, his attorney said.

        A handful of central and northern Kentucky judges — sitting and retired — are pitching in to cover the caseload of Lindsay Stewart III, one of two district judges serving Bourbon, Woodford and Scott counties.

        Judge Stewart checked himself into a facility outside Kentucky earlier this month, said his attorney, Andrew Stephens of Lexington.

        In order to meet bond conditions, Judge Stewart turned over his driver's license to his lawyer. After his arraignment in Nicholas District Court on July 23, it will be handed to the state, Mr. Stephens said.

        Judge Stewart was charged with DUI in December 1998 in Fayette County and was reprimanded by the state's Judicial Conduct Commission in 1999 after pleading guilty.

Two die after car crosses line

               LEITCHFIELD, Ky. — Two Leitchfield residents died in a two-vehicle collision on Kentucky 54, police said.

        Both drivers, Jonathan McKinney, 19, and James Wilson Jr., 79, died Friday morning at the scene, nearly 7 miles west of Leitchfield, according to Kentucky State Police.

        Mr. McKinney was traveling west in the eastbound lane and crested a hill, striking a truck driven by Mr. Wilson, police said. A passenger in Mr. McKinney's car, 14-year-old Joseph Alexander, was transported to Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, where he was listed in serious condition Saturday.

Bear tufts will help measure population

               GRAYSON, Ky. — Biologists from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources have begun using “hair traps” to get an estimate on the black bear population in the state.

        “We know we have bears, but beyond that, we don't know a lot,” said wildlife biologist Rick Mauro, who spent Thursday morning stretching barbed wire on federal land near Grayson Lake to snag hair from passing bears.

        Mr. Mauro said DNA analysis of individual hairs will distinguish one bear from another and allow the department to estimate the population.

        More than 200 “hair traps” will be set in eastern Kentucky this summer. Jon Gassett, forest wildlife coordinator for the state agency, said he hopes to have a population estimate by the end of the year.



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