School officials identify youngest victim in deadly Letcher County crash

Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 8:57 PM EDT
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Updated 10/05 10:30 a.m.

Officials from one Letcher County school identified the youngest victim killed in a deadly crash last week.

In a Facebook post from West Whitesburg Elementary, they ask for prayer for the family of Alyssa Tackitt.

In the post, officials say the little girl was a first-grader at the school and that she was one of the “sweetest and happiest students” they had at WWE.

You can see the Facebook post below:

Updated 10/02 5:30 p.m.

Kentucky State Police say based on their initial investigation that 58-year-old Gregory Branham crossed the centerline of Kentucky Highway 15 and hit 70-year-old Karen Jackson. Both drivers, along with a girl under the age of 18 were killed in the collision.

“It appeared that Branham’s vehicle, that operator was not wearing a seatbelt and the 2011 blue Nissan, Ms. Jackson’s vehicle, she was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision,” said Kentucky State Police Trooper Matt Gayheart.

Troopers say along with Branham and Jackson, a seven-year-old girl was killed in the crash who was a passenger in Jackson’s car. All three were pronounced dead at the scene.

“We understand that’s part of our job, however, doesn’t make it any easier especially when there’s children involved," said Gayheart. “I would say that’s one of the hardest things we’ll ever to do in this job, you know, it’s just a tragedy, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected,” added Gayheart.

A second passenger in Jackson’s car was taken to a hospital because of injuries.

“She was a little juvenile female, she was airlifted to Pikeville and still listed in critical condition as well,” said Gayheart.

A passenger in Branham’s truck was taken to Pikeville Medical Center and is in critical condition.

In one of the cars involved, state police believe passengers were not wearing seatbelts.

KSP officials say they are still awaiting toxicology and autopsy results.

Updated 11:35 p.m.

Kentucky State Police say the road is back open.

Updated 10:15 p.m.

Kentucky State Police say three people are dead after a car crash on the Whitesburg Bypass.

Police say two cars were involved. Two other people were flown to Pikeville Medical Center with serious injuries.

The road is still closed.

Original Story

Kentucky State Police officials tell WYMT part of Highway 15 in Whitesburg is closed and traffic has been detoured through downtown Whitesburg.

The cause of the crash and any other further details are not known at this time.

This story will be updated.

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