Police ID women killed in I-71 crash

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email|Facebook

VERONA, KY (FOX19) - Two women are dead after their car collided with two tractor trailers on Interstate 71.

Police say a red Chevy Impala driven by Lynne Whatley, 53, of Irwin, Ohio was traveling northbound near mile marker 73 when she lost control and slid through the median and into the southbound lanes, where she collided with a tractor trailer.

Both Whatley and her passenger, Debra Kleiber, 53, of Plain City, Ohio, were pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the semi, Herbert Greene, 63, suffered minor injuries, but did not go to the hospital. The truck is owned by B.A.H. Enterprises in Atlanta and was hauling Masonite.

"No, the driver said it happened so fast he couldn't do any evasive moves," said Verona Assistant Fire Chief Bill West.

The crash caused Greene's semi to jack-knife. Another semi, driven by James Guenther of Ross, Ohio, was unable to stop in time and hit Greene's semi. That truck is owned by Wilson Hauling in Ross and was hauling molasses.

Luckily, the mixture was not combustible. Guenther was not injured.

The horrific wreck tied up the highway for hours near the Walton-Verona exit. Police believe the crash was caused by heavy rain. It is an area where accidents happen all the time.

The collision left behind a hazardous mess of diesel fuel and oil all over the roadway. Crews used a kitty-litter type mixture to soak up what they could and then swept it all to the roadside to be collected by highway crews.

The concern was any more thunderstorms firing-up, would leave any untreated areas, the consistency of ice once the water hit them.

North and southbound traffic was deadlocked for more than four hours. Northbound reopened at 6:30 p.m. Southbound reopened at 9:40 p.m.

Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact the Boone County Sheriff's Department at (859) 334-2175.

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