Troopers investigate weather-related fatal crashes in Adair, Clinton counties


COLUMBIA, Ky. (WTVQ) A 20-year-old man was killed early Tuesday when he was struck by an 18-wheeler as he stood in the road after crawling from a car involved in an ice-related crash.

According to state troopers, Alejandro Diaz, of Middleburg, Ky., was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which occurred at about 12:30 a.m. on the Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway at mile marker 56 seven miles east of Columbia.

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Preliminary investigations indicate 21-year-old Abel Vargas, of Russell Springs, was operating a 2003 Nissan pickup westbound on the Parkway when he lost control due to slick road conditions. Vargas’ vehicle traveled through the median and overturned in the middle of the eastbound lane.

Howard Carpenter, 47 of Russell Springs, was eastbound in a 2017 Nissan Rogue and was unable to avoid the collision and struck the overturned Nissan pickup, according to troopers.

Diaz, a passenger in Vargas’s vehicle, was standing in the roadway when a 2021 freightliner semi operated by 49-year-old Allen McDaniel, of Mclean, Texas, approached the scene and was unable to stop, striking Diaz and the Nissan Rogue.

Diaz was killed and Carpenter was airlifted to the University of Louisville Hospital with serious injuries. McDaniel and his passenger, 48-year-old Vallerie McDaniel, were not injured.

This incident remains under investigation by Sergeant Adam Likins. Other KSP personnel, Adair County Sheriff’s Department, Adair County EMS, Adair County Coroner’s office and Air Evac Lifeteam assisted at the scene.

In an unrelated crash at about 10:30 p.m. Monday, 50-year-old Michael Stevens, of Burkesville, was killed in a two-vehicle crash on KY 90 in another weather-related crash.

Preliminary investigations indicate Stevenswas traveling west on KY 90 in a 2000 Toyota truck when he lost control due to slick road conditions. Stevens ‘ vehicle entered the east bound lane striking a 2008 Dodge Nitro being operated by 61-year-old Jessie Bell, of Monticello, the KSP said.

Bell was wearing his seat belt and transported by EMS to Wayne County Hospital. Stevens was not wearing a seat belt and pronounced deceased by the Clinton County Coroner.

This incident remains under investigation by Trooper Jason Warinner. Clinton Sheriff’s Department, Clinton County EMS, Albany Fire Department, and Emergency Management.