PADUCAH, Ky. (WTVF) — A four-year-old girl died and nine others were injured in a nine-vehicle crash on Interstate 24 in Paducah Sunday.
The crash happened just before 10 a.m. near Exit 3.
According to Paducah Police officials, the driver of a tractor-trailer truck rear-ended a vehicle, causing the truck to overturn on the road and a chain reaction involving several other vehicles.
The driver told officers that when he saw traffic stopped, he was unable to stop in time to avoid the crash. The truck hit a 2013 Toyota Highlander driven by Michelle Wren, causing it to overturn.
Wren was injured, and her daughter, Emery, died a short time later at Baptist Health Paducah. Wren’s other two children sustained “possible injuries,” according to the collision report.
The truck then proceeded to hit seven other vehicles, injuring nine people, before coming to rest against the cable barrier in the median.
All nine who were injured were taken to Mercy Health Lourdes Hospital or Baptist Health Baptist for treatment except for one, who was flown from the scene by helicopter to an out-of-state hospital, who is in stable condition.
All of the vehicles except for one had to be towed from the scene, and debris littered the interstate for about a quarter-mile. The interstate was closed for nearly seven hours.
This is the second fatal crash on that stretch of Interstate 24 in just more than a month, according to Paducah Police.
Chief Brian Laird said in a press release that the ongoing construction on the Ohio River bridge is a contributing factor in these collisions.
“We’ve been in contact with Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to ask them to assess the area to determine if there are other options regarding the approach to the construction zone,” he said. “It appears lack of attention is the main cause of this and most other collisions. Drivers need to be aware of their surroundings and pay attention to signage and reduced speed limits.”
The Paducah Police Department’s Collision Reconstruction Team and detectives are investigating.