Teen dies after car drives into water at Lake Cumberland

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 12:47 AM EDT|Updated: May. 30, 2023 at 1:05 AM EDT
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RUSSELL COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - One Southern Kentucky teenager is dead following an accident at Lake Cumberland.

Two young people, just days after graduating, were attending an event with friends Friday night at the Russell County part of the lake. They left, but police say the driver said they took a wrong turn out of a driveway.

“Went just a short distance down the road and unfortunately entered the water. He yelled to his passenger to get out, ‘we are in the water.’ He said ‘I surfaced, then looked back and never heard anything else,” said Sgt. Wayne Wilson with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The accident on Clifty Creek Road claimed the life of Cameron Powell, 17, of Somerset. People who live in the area say there are no markings to indicate the road ends in water. Police say at night, visibility could be an issue.

“It is a dark area around the lake at night. The roads can end quickly unless there’s pole lights or things like that. It can be a tragic event if you’re not watching out around the lake like that at night,” Wilson said.

Sgt. Wilson says it’s not common to see people accidentally drive into the lake. This same area saw another drowning several years ago. A teenager was trying to swim across when he cramped up and went down.

“We strive to educate people. If you are going to be in the water, wear a life jacket. It doesn’t make you less of a man or a woman to put a life jacket on. If you cramp up, someone can come and get you. If you cramp up without a life jacket on, you got problems,” Wilson said.

According to a preliminary autopsy, the cause of death came back as a drowning.

Somerset Undertaking is in charge of funeral arrangements.

Police say they believe Powell’s death was just a tragic accident and don’t believe any charges will be filed.