A Seco man was being held under a $100,000 cash bond in the Letcher County Jail this week after he was arraigned on three counts of first-degree assault and eight other charges, including driving under the influence, after an auto crash on U.S. 119, near the Kentucky-Virginia state line.
Letcher District Judge Kevin Mullins on Tuesday set the bond for John Henry Gibson, 51, of 81 Seco Drive, after Gibson was arraigned on the charges. Gibson is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing next Tuesday.
Gibson was also charged with careless driving, reckless driving, improper turning, improper lane usage, and failure to wear a seatbelt after he allegedly tried to avoid a police roadblock at Pound Gap and hit another car head-on. He is also charged with failure to maintain required insurance and failure to produce an insurance card.
The accident occurred August 30 as police from Kentucky and Virginia were conducting a “Border to-Border” traffic safety check on US 23. The Borderto Border roadblocks are conducted annually to promote traffic safety during the Labor Day holiday.
Kentucky State Police Post 9 in Pikeville received the initial call reporting a collision just before 11:20 a.m., and passed the call to KSP Post 13 in Hazard. KSP troopers and officers from several other agencies were also alerted to the crash by a motorist traveling through the checkpoint and responded to the scene.
Investigators said Gibson was traveling south on US 23 in a 2005 Chevrolet passenger car when he saw the safety check ahead and turned around on the roadway. Police said Gibson began traveling north in the southbound lane of US 23 and his car collided headon with a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado driven by 59-yearold Tony Kiser of Pound, Va.
Gibson and two passengers in his car were injured. John Gibson and 51-yearold Jennifer Gibson of Seco were transported to Appalachian Regional Healthcare in Whitesburg for medical treatment. Jennifer Gibson was later transported to Pikeville Medical Center for further treatment of non-life threatening injuries. John Gibson was treated and released. The second passenger, 52-year-old Banner Gibson of Seco, was airlifted to Pikeville Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries; He was later transferred to Holston Valley Medical Center. Tony Kiser refused treatment and left the scene with family. There were no passengers in his truck.
The incident is still under investigation by KSP Detective Scott Caudill.