Series of wrecks creates confusion on I-65

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By Sarah Bennett

A series of wrecks Monday on a two-mile stretch of Interstate 65 temporarily shut down southbound lanes and created some confusion for emergency personnel.

Bob Hammonds, director of Hardin County’s 911 center, said dispatchers received a “multitude of calls” regarding wrecks on the interstate between 4 and 4:30 p.m. Monday. Callers reported the wrecks were anywhere from mile-markers 94 to 100.

“It got a little crazy,” Hammonds said.

However, he added it is routine to receive high numbers of calls regarding wrecks, and sometimes those reports contain misleading information.

“We handle it,” the director said. “We rely on the first unit on scene to tell us where it’s at.”

Ultimately, fire and emergency crews were dispatched to two wrecks, Hammonds said, which they were able to locate.

Elizabethtown, Radcliff and Central Hardin fire departments responded with a total of seven trucks, he said. Hardin County EMS responded with two ambulances and a supervisor.

Norman Chaffins, spokesman for Kentucky State Police Post 4, said troopers responded to a total of three single-vehicle wrecks on a two-mile stretch between mile-markers 98 and 100.

One of those vehicles was overturned, he said, and the crashes resulted in minor injuries.

Rain and speed likely were contributing factors, the trooper said.

“You can drive in the rain; you can drive in the snow,” he said. “But you can’t drive the same speed.”

Hammonds said anytime there’s one wreck, it’s common to see secondary crashes, especially during a period of high traffic.

Drivers may not be paying attention to the stop-and-go flow of traffic, he said. Those who stop to try to see what’s going on also pose a high risk for secondary wrecks, Hammonds added.

When it comes to wrecks on the interstate, Hammonds said residents in that area typically will recognize a crash location. However, the majority of highway drivers are commuters.

“Ninety percent of the traffic on I-65 is non-local, and they just don’t know,” he said.

The best way to identify the location of a wreck on the interstate is by mile-markers, which are posted every two-tenths of a mile, Hammonds said.

Unless a driver is standing next to a green marker, it’s not easy to determine a location, he said.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.