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Man, 25, is killed when vehicle is hit by utility truck on U.S. 119

A 25-year-old Letcher County man is dead after a two-vehicle crash in Letcher County Thursday at Payne Gap.

The crash occurred about 2:40 p.m., August 13, on US 119 North at the intersection of Jim Banks Road.

Preliminary investigation by troopers from Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard determined that William Vanover, of Jenkins, was traveling south toward Whitesburg on US 119 in a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier when he attempted to turn left onto Jim Banks Road. As the car began to cross the northbound lane it was struck by a 2019 Freightliner utility truck that was also traveling south.

The driver of the truck, Francis Goodson of Hazard, said he had swerved into the northbound lane of US 119 to avoid a collision with another vehicle that was between his truck and Vanover’s car. The truck struck Vanover’s car in the left side. Vanover was pronounced dead at the scene by Letcher County Coroner Rene Campbell. Francis Goodson was not injured, and seatbelts were not in use at the time of the crash.

An autopsy was performed Friday at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort. Impairment is not suspected as a contributing factor and investigators do not anticipate criminal charges. Trooper Jarrett Fields with K.S.P. Post 13 is leading the investigation with assistance from Detective Scott Caudill. Jenkins Police and Fire Departments, Letcher Sheriff ’s Department, Letcher County EMS, Neon P.D. and Neon EMS all assisted at the scene.

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