Thursday, July 1, 2004

Multi-vehicle crash kills trucker, closes I-71

The Associated Press

CARROLLTON - A fatal accident closed southbound Interstate 71 between Cincinnati and Louisville until early Wednesday, Kentucky State Police said.

Trooper Greg Larimore said the 3:40 p.m. accident Tuesday in the southbound lanes 43 miles north of Louisville happened because traffic was backed up from an earlier non-injury crash four miles south.

The driver of an oversized load, Ronald Davis, 46, of Negley, Ohio, was unable to stop before hitting a pickup truck driven by William Clifton, of Carrollton.

Davis died after he was unable to escape his truck, which also caught fire and overturned. Clifton was taken to a hospital with injuries.

Davis' vehicle also struck a tractor-trailer driven by James Ruffin of Bothell, Wash.; a minivan driven by Pat Lucas, of Ghent, and another tractor-trailer driven by Gordon Whitcombe of Fort Smith, Ark. Whitcombe, Ruffin and Lucas were not injured. Whitcombe fled his vehicle before it also caught fire.

The northbound lanes reopened at 6:20 p.m. Tuesday,

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