Two family members killed in semi-vs-SUV crash in South Shore


Tom Corrigan - tcorrigan@aimmediamidwest.com



Two members of the same family died Wednesday evening after a semi-tractor trailer and an SUV collided in South Shore, Ky., according to Greenup County Coroner Neil Wright.

Kentucky State Police in Ashland are investigating the fatal, two vehicle collision that occurred Wednesday evening, at approximately 9:00 p.m., at the junction of the Carl Perkins Bridge and U.S. Highway 23.

In a press release, law enforcement said Larry Copley, age 65 of Fort Gay, W.Va., was operating a 2001 Peterbilt tractor-trailer with cargo and traveling northbound on U.S. 23, when a 2014 Chevrolet Suburban, operated by Barbara Combs, age 60, of Ohio, attempted to make a left-hand turn in the southbound lane of U.S. 23 from the Carl Perkins Bridge.

According to witness statements, Combs disregarded the stop light and failed to yield right of way to the tractor-trailer. Evidence on scene indicated Copley attempted to avoid the collision through hard, straight line braking, but was ultimately unsuccessful. The tractor-trailer struck the Suburban in the driver’s side door.

Combs, and her passenger, Mary Potter, 81, of South Shore, were pronounced deceased at the scene by Wright. The driver of the Suburban was belted at the time of the crash, while the passenger was not.

At this time no criminal charges have been filed as a result of the collision, and alcohol is not a suspected contributor. The collision remains under investigation by Trooper Bobby King, who was assisted on scene by Portsmouth EMS, the Greenup County Coroner’s Office and the South Shore Fire Department.

While state police did not mention a second passenger in the SUV, according to Wright, a juvenile in the SUV was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He added the driver of the semi walked away from the accident uninjured.

“I was called to the scene of a motor vehicle accident last night in South Shore where two people, from the same family, had succumbed to their injuries,” Wright wrote on his coroner’s office Facebook page. “The staff of the Greenup County Coroner’s Office asks you to keep this unnamed family in your prayers.”

Wright had declined to release the names of the victims, but state police provided them in their release.

“I would also like to thank the South Shore Fire Department, Portsmouth Ambulance, the Greenup County Sheriff’s Office and Kentucky State Police for their very professional response and assistance. Without assistance from these agencies we simply could not do our job,” Wright concluded.

Tom Corrigan

tcorrigan@aimmediamidwest.com