Two Adair County teen girls have died and one is in critical condition after a Utility Terrain Vehicle collided with a pickup truck Friday afternoon.
Macie Drake and Abby Gail Curry, both 15-year-old sophomores at Adair County High School, died on the scene and eighth grader Raquel Anyega, 14, is in critical condition in University of Kentucky Hospital after being ejected from the vehicle.
Kentucky State Police say Drake was operating a Can-Am UTV on Sanders Ridge Road and pulled onto KY 206 in the pathway of a pickup truck being operated by Randell Gabehart, 52, of Knifley. The accident occurred around 4:58 p.m. Friday.
The UTV was struck in the passenger side and both vehicles ran off the roadway, where the UTV caught on fire. Emergency services were dispatched to the area. Drake and Curry were pronounced dead at the scene by the Adair County coroner’s office and their bodies were transported to the medical examiner’s office in Louisville for autopsy and positive identification, which Coroner Todd Akin said is expected Sunday. A medical helicopter was flown in and landed on the roadway to transport Anyega to Lexington.
The area was closed off for traffic while KSP conducted a reconstruction. Knifley fire department remained on the scene until almost 11 p.m.
Randell Gabehart was transported to T.J. Health in Columbia where he was treated and released. KSP Trooper Jason Warinner is investigating the accident. In addition to KSP and Knifley fire, the Adair County Fire Department, Adair County Sheriff’s Department, Adair EMS and Casey County EMS responded to the scene.
SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT RELEASES STATEMENT
School Superintendent Alan Reed released the following on Saturday:
“Adair County is a small county and our school system is like one big family. When one hurts, we all hurt. Today our hearts are heavy with grief and concern surrounding the tragedy that occurred Friday evening.
“We want to extend our thoughts and prayers to the loved ones and friends of Macie Drake and Abby Curry, sophomores at Adair County High School. We also remain deeply concerned for Raquel Anyega, an eighth-grader at Adair County Middle School, who was seriously injured in the same accident.
“On behalf of our staff, students, and school community we extend our deepest sympathies to each of these families. There is nothing worse than a parent losing a child, our school system losing a student or a community having to come terms with losing those so young. Today our families, our schools, and our communities will all be leaning on each other for support, love and guidance.
“Last night our school system began implementing our crisis response plan. District and regional mental health professionals and counselors immediately went into action and began providing grief counseling for our students and faculty. We ask parents to please monitor how your child is grieving and let us know if you feel that your child needs to speak with someone about this situation. We will continue to offer these services for an extended period of time to help everybody that has been touched by this tragedy.
“Once again our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected.”