Update: Crash on U.S. 150 results in three fatalities

Published 9:38 am Wednesday, January 10, 2018

STANFORD – A collision on U.S. 150 Monday resulted in multiple fatalities. 

Emergency responders were on scene at U.S. 150 East near Horton Cutoff Road, between Stanford and Crab Orchard, from about 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. All traffic was rerouted as an accident reconstructionist from Kentucky State Police worked on scene. 

Lincoln County Coroner Farris Marcum pronounced three individuals deceased at the scene including 20-year-old Brenden Hays, 23-year-old Mickey Puumala and 22-year-old Deric Coleman, all of Crab Orchard. 

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According to Kentucky State Police, the three were traveling east on U.S. 150 in a 2001 Hyundai Tiburon when they attempted to pass another vehicle that was also traveling east. 

“When the Hyundai pulled into the oncoming lane of traffic, it collided head-on with a 1998 Toyota T-100 pickup,” the state police press release states. 

The driver of the Toyota truck, who’s identity could not be confirmed as of Tuesday afternoon, was transported to Ephraim McDowell Hospital in Danville with non-life-threatening injuries. 

Marcum said Puumala was ejected from the vehicle through the back windshield, while Hays and Coleman remained in the vehicle. All three were fatally injured as a result of the collision. 

With traffic building up on U.S. 150 and vehicles attempting to maneuver around the scene, Marcum said emergency responders decided to move the vehicle with the two deceased still inside to Lincoln County Fire Station No. 2 to proceed with the extrication. 

“We got inside where it was dry and took our time to be able to remove them from the car,” he said. 

Marcum said Hays was driving the Hyundai at the time of the crash and his body has been sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort for an official autopsy to document his injuries. 

Multiple agencies responded to the scene including KSP, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Crab Orchard Police Department, Lincoln County Fire and Rescue, Lincoln County EMS and the Lincoln County Coroner’s Office. Stanford Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials Unit also responded. 

Marcum said the response went smoothly because it was a team-effort. 

Families learn of deaths through social media

When a death occurs, authorities typically notify all victims’ next of kin before releasing identities of the deceased to the public. But with so many individuals on social media, Marcum said it’s something authorities have no control over. That was the case Monday, he said. 

Marcum said both the Puumala and Coleman families had already learned about the deaths by the time authorities went to notify them. 

“They already knew about it,” he said. “They knew about from social media.” 

As far as the news media, Marcum said the outlets he spoke to waited until family had been notified before releasing names to the public.