Two separate fatal collisions occurred Thursday night and Friday morning, leading to the death of four individuals, according to Kentucky State Police and the Hopkinsville Police Department.
KSP is investigating a collision causing the death of two drivers around 8 a.m. Friday on Interstate 24 near Oak Grove.
According to a KSP press release, troopers discovered through investigation that 47-year-old Johnny R. Clark of Joelton, Tennessee, was operating a 2018 International box truck eastbound around the 93 mile marker, in the right lane of travel. 65-year-old Jeffrey Clark of Hartford, Illinois was operating a 2016 Western Star tractor-trailer westbound on I-24 around the 93 mile marker, in the right lane of travel. 22-year-old Dalton Dodd of Clarksville, Tennessee, was operating a 2006 Pontiac G6 westbound on I-24 in the left lane of travel, beside Mr. Clark’s vehicle.
For an unknown reason, Johnny Clark’s box truck crossed the eastbound lanes of travel, crossed the median, traveled through the cable barrier, and entered the westbound lanes of travel. Dalton Dodd’s vehicle entered the westbound, right lane of travel to avoid a collision with Johnny Clark. Dodd’s vehicle sideswiped the front driver’s side of Jeffrey Clark’s vehicle. Mr. Dodd’s vehicle continued off the westbound, right shoulder of the roadway, and up an earth embankment.
Johnny Clark’s vehicle continued across the left, westbound lane of travel, striking Jeffrey Clark’s vehicle in a head on manner. Both operators were in their vehicles when they caught fire.
Dalton Dodd was uninjured in the collision. Johnny Clark and Jeffrey Clark (no relation) were pronounced deceased at the scene by the Christian County Coroner’s Office. The investigation is ongoing by Trooper Brian Graves.
Two more deaths were reported Friday following a single-vehicle accident around 11 p.m. Thursday on West Seventh Street, according to an HPD report.
The report stated a pickup truck was traveling west on West Seventh when the vehicle came off the roadway to the right, over-corrected crossing the eastbound lane and exited the left side of the road before hitting a concrete culvert.
After hitting the culvert, the vehicle overturned, struck a ditch and then hit a utility pole before coming to a rest on the southeast corner of Rose Drive and Seventh Street.
During the accident, all three occupants of the car were ejected.
Benjamin Papajeski, 33, Cadiz, and Ethan Pace, 30, Hopkinsville, were both pronounced dead at the scene by Christian County Coroner Scott Daniels.
The other occupant, Stephen Donovan, 31, Cadiz, was transported to Jennie Stuart Health where he was flown to Skyline Medical Center, where he is in stable condition.
The report could not identify who was driving the vehicle, but did say the vehicle had been traveling between 70 and 80 miles per hour and alcohol may have been involved.