Whitesburg KY

Rites held for 3 wreck victims

Funeral services were held this week for three people killed last week in a head-on collision on the KY 15 Bypass at Whitesburg.

The collision occurred about 7:20 p.m. October 1 near the truck pull-off between the Main Street exit and West Whitesburg.

Initial investigation indicates that Gregory Branham, 58, of Mayking was driving a white 2008 Chevrolet pickup northbound toward West Whitesburg when his vehicle crossed into the southbound lanes of the four-lane highway and struck a 2011 blue Nissan operated by Karen Jackson, 70, of Neon.

The vehicles collided head-on, killing both drivers. Jackson’s 7-year-old granddaughter, Alyssa Tackitt, of Mayking, was also killed as a result of the collision. All three individuals were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by the Letcher County Coroner’s Office. Two additional passengers were airlifted to Pikeville Medical Center to be treated for serious injuries.

Police said it appears that seatbelts were not in use in one of the vehicles; however, occupants of the other vehicle were wearing seatbelts.

Kentucky State Police troopers were assisted on scene by Whitesburg Police Department, Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department, Whitesburg Fire Department, Sandlick Fire Department, Neon Fire and Rescue, and Letcher Fire and Rescue. The bypass was closed for about two hours for a preliminary investigation. Police returned and closed the bypass temporarily again last Friday to reconstruct the accident. Branham’s vehicle had just passed the divided section of the highway when it crossed the double yellow line that separates the opposing lanes of traffic where the collision occurred, just in front of Childers Oil’s tank storage facility.

Toxicology and autopsy results are pending. The collision remains under investigation by Trooper Jarret Fields.

Obituaries appear below.

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