Vehicle Went Off Road at Construction Site on Sunfish-Round Hill Road
A vehicle went off road on the other side, landed upside down in the water, which claimed the life of a Donald Hardison, (70) of Muhlenburg County, according to officials.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
A Muhlenberg County man that was reported missing by law enforcement yesterday was located deceased last night after an overturned vehicle was reported on Sunfish-Roundhill Road around 10:30PM.
According to Kentucky State Police, Donald Hardison (70) of Muhlenberg County was found deceased in a 2007 Ford Expedition after apparently driving off the road into water where road construction is currently underway on Sunfish-Round Hill Road. The vehicle was overturned, according to Edmonson County Sheriff James Vincent.
Edmonson County Deputy Coroner Richie Jones said that the top of the overturned vehicle was partially submerged in water.
The road has been closed to thru traffic for several months for a road construction project that has been ongoing for about a year and a half, according to Edmonson County Judge/Executive Scott Lindsey. Officials said Hardison drove off where the road ends, which is about a 20-foot drop down to the water. While barricades have been placed on both sides of the construction, Judge Lindsey said it was unclear whether someone moved the barricade before Hardison drove off the road or if he drove around it.
"We weren't there, so we don't know for sure if someone moved it," he said. "We placed the barricades on both sides of where the work is going on. Right now, our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Hardison's family. We will fully cooperate with the investigation and will remain transparent throughout the process."
The gap between the driveable portions of the road is significant and Lindsey said the county has been unable to rebuild the section due to a lack of funds.
"We have requested federal help from FEMA and that process is in the final stages, but our county just doesn't have the funds to rebuild something of that size," he said.
The accident/construction site can be accessed from two different routes: the first is to turn onto Sunfish-Round Hill Road from HWY 70 (Morgantown Road); the other is from HWY 187 onto Sunfish-Roundhill Road. The vehicle went off the road from the route off of 187. There is currently a barricade there, however, one can drive around the barricade, albeit a tight, steep, and muddy route. The HWY 70 side also had a barricade and multiple "road closed" signs posted. Vehicles cannot drive around this barricade due to the steep embankments on either side. There is also a large pile of rock that is easily visible from the HWY 70 side. Once past the barricade on the 187 side, there would be no visibility of the road end until a vehicle was directly upon it.
KSP also reported that an autopsy is pending and that the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office notified next of kin.
Along with KSP and Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, the Bear Creek, Kyrock, and Brownsville Fire Departments responded to the scene, along with Edmonson EMS.
The accident is still under investigation by Kentucky State Police.