Friday, April 6, 2012

Harrodsburg police officer stingy with information about fatal traffic accident

Five days after a traffic accident killed a prominent Mercer County farmer who was driving his tractor, a Harrodsburg police officer refused to release most details about it, citing moral grounds and a promise to the family of the 21-year-old driver of the other vehicle that "he would keep their son’s name out of the media until after his investigation was complete," Todd Kleffman of the Advocate-Messenger in Danville reported Wednesday.

Only under orders from Police Chief Billy Whitenack did Officer Jeff Pearce identify the 21-year-old as  William Phillips of Boyle County. Pearce still refused to release the name of a passenger in Phillips' vehicle or say what type of vehicle it was. "On Saturday, Mercer County Deputy Coroner Chuck Bugg said the driver of the second vehicle was airlifted from the scene but was unsure of the person’s identity or extent of the injuries," Kleffman reported. Bugg also identified John "Van" Landrum as the decedent "after Harrodsburg police released a statement saying only that one person died as the result of a two-vehicle collision on US 127."

State police are not involved in the investigation. "Pearce said he would not release any more information on the crash until after his investigation is complete, which he said could take between 10 days and a month," Kleffman reported. "Pearce told a reporter releasing information about the crash went against his morals. He also said he promised Phillips’ family he would keep their son’s name out of the media until after his investigation was complete." (Read more)

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