• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Five deadly crashes on Woodford roads last year

There were five deadly automobile crashes on Woodford County roadways last year, according to the Versailles Police Department. The number of fatality crashes has been fairly consistent over the last five years, with three in 2012, five in 2013 and again in 2014, and three in 2015, police records show. Assistant Chief Mike Murray credited his department’s patrol officers for doing “a good job of keeping fatalities and serious physical injuries that are involved with wrecks and collisions to a minimum.” He cited distracted driving and alcohol/drug impairment as being a factor in all of last year’s deadly crashes, which occurred on I-64, McCowans Ferry Road, Lexington Road at the Blue Grass Parkway, Woodlake Road and Leestown Road. The five fatality crashes in Woodford County came during a year when Kentucky as a whole had one of its deadliest years for traffic deaths, with 835 people dying in crashes in 2016, according to the state Transportation Cabinet. Murray said Woodford County intersections along Lexington Road – including at Paddock Drive and at Huntertown Road – are heavy traffic areas where officers are a frequent presence during afternoon and morning rush hours. And he said officers will sometimes park in the Lexington Road median near The Castle to monitor westbound traffic coming to Versailles from Fayette County. “What they’re looking for is aggressive driving, someone who’s speeding,” Murray said. Other intersections that are monitored closely are Big Sink Pike at the U.S. 60 Bypass and Midway Road at Frankfort Road, he added. Citizen complaints about motorists traveling at excessive speeds in their neighborhoods also result in stepped-up patrols, Murray said. The most recent example: motorists in the Paddock neighborhood traveling at excessive speeds and not stopping for school buses, he added. “We try to be visible, to be a deterrent,” said Murray. He said a Drive Smart Kentucky radar trailer parked on the shoulders of a roadway that will “flash” whenever a motorist is traveling over the legal speed limit also acts as a deterrent. “A lot of times on some of these collisions that we work,” said Murray, “driver inattention … is one of the contributing factors.” He cited seatbelt use as one critical factor in reducing the likelihood of a deadly crash. And because Kentucky has a primary seatbelt law, he said a driver can be ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt and may be responsible for passengers not being buckled up.

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