Thursday, March 12, 2015

Kentucky police officer killed in wreck

A Nicholasville police officer who was on his way to training died after a three-car crash on a foggy U.S. 27 in northern Garrard County early Wednesday.

Officer Burke Rhoads, 35, died at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital in Lexington, where he was taken following the crash that occurred just after 7 a.m., Kentucky State Police said.

Rhoads was the second law enforcement officer in Kentucky to die in the line of duty this year. Just last Thursday, Bullitt County Detention Center Lt. C. Scott Travis suffered a fatal heart attack while clearing snow from the walkways in front of the jail during last week's winter storm.

Nationwide, there have been 22 deaths of law enforcement officers while on duty, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page found online.

Rhoads was on duty and driving his cruiser to a training session in Richmond when the crash occurred at Rocky Top, just south of the Kentucky River, Trooper Paul Blanton said. There was heavy fog in the area at the time of the crash.

The police car was headed south on U.S. 27 when a white passenger car pulled from Rogers Road (Ky. 1845) and clipped the rear of the cruiser, Blanton said.

The cruiser "rotated around" and spun into the opposing lanes of 27, where it was struck in the rear passenger side by a Cadillac SUV, Blanton said.

"All the impact is on that far corner where the wheel would be" on the cruiser's passenger side, Blanton said.

"It was a very severe impact," he said.