Three passenger vehicles and two commercial vehicles were involved in a crash on I-71 in Oldham County, just north of the Jefferson County line, on Tuesday morning. According to Major Jimmie Laytham Jr. of the Oldham County Police Department, 48-year-old Sherri Bray of Pendleton, the driver of one of the passenger vehicles was killed in the crash when a box truck hit her sedan from behind, forcing it under the rear of a semi-truck. Initial investigation has indicated that traffic was slowing or stopped due to road work when the box truck failed to come to a complete stop. Three other people were transported to the hospital for injuries that were considered non-life threatening.
Southbound lanes at the location of the accident were closed well into Tuesday evening, allowing police to thoroughly investigate the scene. Investigators stated that there was no indication that drugs or alcohol were involved and that no criminal charges will be filed. Although traffic due to road construction was likely a factor, it is important to remember that drivers must adjust the operation of their vehicles accordingly. Lower rates of speed and heightened alertness are often necessary to comply with the appropriate standard of care.
If the driver of the box truck failed to operate their vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner given the road conditions, Bray’s estate could potentially have a wrongful death claim against that driver for hitting Bray’s car. KRS 411.130 allows for a party with a qualifying relationship with the deceased, such as a spouse or child, to hold the party who negligently or intentionally caused their loved one’s death liable for damages. Bray’s estate may similarly have an independent claim for negligence.