According the the Kentucky State Police Department, a Perry County woman was fatally injured in an early morning collision that sent two other passengers to the hospital and the driver to jail. Troopers with Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard responded to the Avawam community of Perry County around 3:35 a.m., after Perry County 911 Center called advising of the single vehicle collision on Old Highway 80.
Police say, at the scene, investigators discovered a 2004 Chevrolet Trail Blazer resting on its top on Old Highway 80. It was determined that the vehicle had been traveling westbound when the vehicle overturned, ejecting 18 year old Caitlin Simpkins of Bonnyman. Simpkins was transported by Perry County EMS to Hazard Appalachian Regional Hospital, where she was later pronounced deceased by Perry County Deputy Coroner John Caudill. Two other passengers, 22 year old Brandon Collins and 19 year old Justin Collins, both of Hazard, were taken to Hazard ARH. Both were later transported to the University of Kentucky Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
According to a news release from the Kentucky State Police, the operator of the vehicle, Bobby Snell age 22 of Hazard, was arrested and lodged in the Kentucky River Regional Jail. He has been charged with one count of Murder, two counts of Assault 2nd Degree, and DUI 1st Degree. He remains lodged pending court proceedings. An autopsy is scheduled for later today on Simpkins, at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort. Police say toxicology results are pending on Snell, and it has yet to be determined if anyone was utilizing seat belts at the time of this collision. This incident remains under investigation by Trooper Jeremy Moore and Trooper Brandon Thomas with KSP Post 13.