Police say two wrecks — one involving a fatality — occurred on ice-covered bridges on the Whitesburg bypass within a 20-minute period.
Authorities say Felicia Ann Ramsey, 43, was traveling north on U.S. 119 North on the night of March 6 when she lost control of her Ford Mustang on an icy bridge and struck a sport utility vehicle being driven by Martha Ratliff.
Ramsey was pronounced dead at the scene, said Whitesburg Police Captain Chuck Bledsoe. Ratliff was transported to Whitesburg ospital (ARH) with injuries.
A Kentucky State Police accident reconstruction expert was called to the scene and the investigation is continuing.
Bledsoe said Ramsey drove through the intersection at Pine Mountain Junction and lost control of the vehicle when she reached the bridge near Pine Mountain Grill. Her Mustang slid sideways and was “t-boned” by the SUV in the oncoming lane of traffic.
“The temperature had dropped so bad that the bridge was a solid sheet of ice,” said Bledsoe. “I’d say it was every bit of a half inch of ice.”
Bledsoe said police officers at the scene of the accident had a hard time keeping their footing on the bridge after the wreck occurred at 7:57 p.m.
At around 8:20 p.m. On March 6, police received a report of another wreck on the Whitesburg bypass, this one near Circle Drive. Bledsoe said he could see the location of one wreck while standing at the other wreck location.
In the second accident, Lydia Baker, 24, of Thornton, was also driving on an ice-covered bridge and lost control of the 2007 Chevy Aveo she was driving.
“She did the exact same thing — slid on a bridge, lost control and hit an oncoming vehicle,” said Bledsoe.
Baker’s car collided with a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer being driven by Joseph Bailey, 31, of Sassafras in Knott County. The Trailblazer spun 360 degrees before stopping. The Aveo caught fire after the impact.
“When I got there the fire was fully engulfed,” said Bledsoe. “Flames five feet high were shooting out of both windows from the front of the car. Evidently, something sparked with the fuel line.”
An alert citizen, whom Bledsoe called a good Samaritan who left before being identified, opened the door to Baker’s car and got her out of the vehicle just before the fire.
Baker sustained a broken right arm, but Bledsoe said her injuries would have been injured much worse if it wasn’t for the Samaritan getting her out of the car.
“The family is wondering who the good Samaritan is so they can thank him,” said Bledsoe.
Bailey was transported to Whitesburg ARH for treatment of head injuries.
Bledsoe said motorists should let off the gas and coast across icy bridges.
“If you are still accelerating when you hit a bridge, you will slide,” he said.
Funeral services for Felicia Ann Ramsey were held March 9 at Everidge Funeral Home in Whitesburg. Burial was in the Wright Cemetery at Goose Creek.
A daughter of the late John Hershel and Vairl Bullion Brown, she was born in Whitesburg. She was a sister of the late Wayne Brown, Harold Brown and Betty Thacker.
She was a member of the Fleming-Neon High School Class of 1988, and attended the McRoberts Baptist Church.
Surviving are a daughter and son, Briana Ramsey and Jacob Ramsey, both of Neon; three sisters, Karen Flint of Mayking, Donna McFall of Neon, and Rita Eldridge of Linefork; and three brothers, Danny Brown of Mayking, and Jimmy “Bo” Brown and Johnny Brown, both of Neon.