Whitesburg KY

Another death in vehicular manslaughter case

One woman died on day of accident

A Virginia man charged with manslaughter in the death of a woman in a car collision at Payne Gap may face another charge.

Kentucky State Police in Hazard say a second occupant of the car has died. Kathleen Tackett, 90, of Belcher in Pike County, died Wednesday night at Pikeville Medical Center.

Franklin Travis Helbert, 37 of Appalachia, Va., was driving north on US 119 North in a 1999 Chevy Silverado, pulling a horse trailer, when he lost control of the truck in heavy rain in the curve north of Fishpond Lake entrance, and the trailer crossed the centerline. It collided with a 2008 Toyota Yaris driven by Judy Kiser, 66, of Pikeville.

Kiser, along with two passengers in her vehicle, 90 year old Tackett and 61 year old Barbara Newsome of Pikeville were transported by Neon Fire/Rescue to Whitesburg ARH Hospital with what responders at first believed were “non-life-threatening injuries.”  Barbara Newsome, who was seated in the rear seat and was not wearing a seatbelt, died at the hospital. Helbert refused medical treatment.

Police said Helbert was charged because he had tossed a package containing a small quantity of marijuana into the ditch after the accident. Kentucky State Police charged Helbert with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol second offense, second-degree manslaughter, two counts of first-degree assault, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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