A driver ran her Toyota Camry across the median on Interstate 24 on Thursday into oncoming traffic in the eastbound lanes and struck the back driver’s side of a GMC, killing a passenger.

Verna S. Powell, 50, of Paducah, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her son, William L. Powell II, 31, also of Paducah, was driving. He was conscious when medical workers reached the scene, police said, but a helicopter flew him to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for treatment.

His wife, Chasity Powell, 31, who was sitting in the passenger seat, and the Camry driver, Luo Shuanghui, 39, of Brentwood, Tenn., received treatment at the scene, according to a Kentucky State Police news release.

KSP Trooper Jason Newby said officials don’t know what caused Shuanghui to swerve across the median. She had just driven under the Kentucky 115 overpass, at the border of Oak Grove and Pembroke, when she crashed.

There are no guard rails in that area.

Police blocked all traffic in both directions around noon and directed drivers to the ramps of exit 89.

While they cleaned up the scene the Camry still sat on the road, with heavy damage to its fender and hood. The GMC lay in the grass nearby. Its shattered windshield drooped like a net, and its former contents — a cooler, a thermos, an oil can — were spread out around it.

The news release indicates that everyone involved was wearing a seat belt.

Nick Tabor can be reached at 270-887-3231

or ntabor@kentuckynewera.com.

(3) comments


Aunt Verna, I love and miss you so much.
Dad made a comment to mom to try to ease her pain and it makes since, That God took you home to be with Unlce Olen, Uncle Ralph, and Uncle Richard because they needed their Angel by their side. It's so hard to let you go.
Lil Willie, I wish I could be there with you and Chasitiy, please have a fast recovery, and Please keep fighting and know that we're all praying for you and we love you very much.
Uncle Willy, and Stacy, I am so sorry. I wish I could take away all the pain that you and everyone is having away. I love you, Jenn


Aunt Verna, Ill miss you so much. I still cant believe your gone. Your beloved family wont be the same without you here. You were Uncle Willie's life, and soul mate. I cannot imagine his pain right now. Rest knowing we will take care of him, and he is surrounded by family at this very moment.

And Lil Willie, My prayers are with you, your children, and Chasity, your wife. It was so hard to Watching the video, knowing it is you on that gurney.

I'm told Your injuries are very severe, and life threatening. I know You are strong, so please keep fighting, Cousin.!! Dont give up.

It is so hard being so far away from home, not able to get back there to be with family. My heart and prayers go out to Uncle Willie, and Stacy, and all my family in Kentucky.

Janie,Wes,Shawn, and Jacob.


What a tragedy. My prayers go out to all the families and friends effected,

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.