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