Distracted driving may have led to one of the worst traffic fatalites in KY.

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by Mike Whitlow

WHAS11.com

Posted on May 6, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Updated Thursday, May 6 at 6:33 PM

(WHAS11)-Distracted driving may have led to one of the state's worst traffic fatalities.  That happened earlier this year on Interstate 65.

That wreck claimed the lives of 10 Mennonites from Burkesville, Kentucky and the truck driver who according to a state police report was speeding and using a cell phone.

It wasn't the weather, road conditions, or early morning hour that caused this horrific wreck on Interstate 65.  A state police report detailing this head on crash that killed 10 Mennonites traveling to a wedding, indicates the truck driver was receiving and sending cell phone calls leading up to the impact.

While nearly every passenger died from the impact: two children in safety seats, Johnny and Josiah Esh are alive today because of three Good Samaritans who stopped and helped, pulling the children to safety as the truck was bursting in to flames. Later, EMS tried to pull a breathing Joel Gingrich from the pieces of the Mennonite van, but he didn't survive.

The report also indicates there was no time for the driver of the van, John Esh to react, to swerve. The truck entered the median and 96 feet later, the driver hit the brakes. The report states Laymon was distracted; the distraction, a cell phone. In Kentucky distracted driving including cell phone use accounts for 57-thousand wrecks each year. Kentucky has a new law banning texting while driving, and cell phone use for drivers under age 18.

The report does not indicate who Layman may have been in communication with when the truck crossed the median, only that he was killed instantly, and took a family with him.
      
Due to the new law, Kentucky drivers caught texting can be given a warning by police until the new year, then the fine is $25 dollars for the first offense.
                       
 

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