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Fatal Collision in Perry County Injures District Judge

Date of News Release: 06/30/2015

(Hazard, KY) - A collision on Combs Road in Perry County late Monday evening left one man dead and three others injured. The crash occurred just before 7:50 p.m., and involved two vehicles. Kentucky State Police Post 13 received a call advising of the collision at approximately 7:51.p.m. Several KSP Troopers, Detectives, and a CVE officer responded to the scene, along with Perry County Ambulance Authority.

Investigators at the scene determined that a 1997 Toyota Camry driven by Kevin Fugate, age 40 of Hazard, was traveling south on Combs Road. Fugate's vehicle crossed into the northbound lane where it struck a 2011 Toyota Versa being operated by 55 year old Leigh Ann Stephens of Hazard. Leigh Ann Stephens, who is District Judge of Perry County, and a passenger in her vehicle, 53 year old Stephen Wireman of Ridgecrest, California, were transported to Hazard Appalachian Regional Hospital and admitted for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. A passenger in the Fugate vehicle, 42 year old Della Friley of Viper, was air lifted to University of Kentucky Medical Center where she remains in critical condition. Kevin Fugate was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Perry County Coroner's Office.

Alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor in this collision, with toxicology results pending on both drivers. Seat belts were in use by both occupants of Judge Stephens' vehicle, but were not utilized by Kevin Fugate or Della Friley. An autopsy is scheduled for later today at the State Medical Examiners Office in Frankfort. Trooper Brandon Thomas with KSP Post 13 is conducting this investigation.