Missing teen critically injured in crash following police pursuit


CORBIN, Ky. (WTVQ) – State Police say a 16-year old girl, whose mother reported missing Thursday morning, was critically injured in a head-on collision following a police pursuit in Knox County. A passenger in the SUV the girl was driving, 20-year old John Deaver, of Harrogate, Tennessee, was also critically injured in the collision, according to KSP.

Both victims were airlifted to U.T. Medical Center in Tennessee, according to State Police.

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Investigators say it all began around 3:30 p.m., when a 2000 Mercedes SUV passed a State Trooper at a high rate of speed on the shoulder of US 25E in Knox County. The Trooper tried to pull the SUV over in the Bimble community, but it continued to flee at a high rate of speed, according to State Police.

Other Trooper’s joined in the pursuit that continued for several miles but was eventually called-off in the Gray community because the SUV was going dangerously fast, according to KSP.

A short time later, Troopers spotted the SUV at the intersection of KY 3041 and US 25E. Investigators say the vehicle had been involved in a collision.

The preliminary investigation indicates the Mercedes SUV was driven by the 16-year old girl from Harrogate, Tennessee. Because of her age, her name was not released.

Investigators say the girl hit three different vehicles before colliding head-on with an 18-wheeler in the southbound lane of US 25E.

State Police say the girl was ejected from the vehicle and landed in the road.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, 43-year old Eric Wilder, of Thornhill, Tennessee, was not hurt, according to State Police.

Investigators say no one else involved in the any of the collisions was hurt.

The case is still under investigation by State Police.

*Note: The photograph of the accident scene that accompanies this story is courtesy of The News Journal in Corbin

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.