Motorcycle, truck collision claims life of doctor

Photo by Tasha Stewart Kentucky State Police Troopers and Detectives investigate the scene of the accident.
Photo by Tasha Stewart
Kentucky State Police Troopers and Detectives investigate the scene of the accident.

A fatal accident occurred recently on Highway North 11 at Hughes Hill in Girdler. Kentucky State Police Post 10 in Harlan received a call at 2:37 p.m. on Friday, July 22 that a motorcycle driving south toward Barbourville struck a northbound truck. KSP Trooper Wayne Hensley, Trooper First Class Jason Young and Detective Bryan Johnson responded to the scene.

The driver of the black Harley-Davidson motorcycle, Patricia Burke, 55, of London, crossed the road’s centerline into the path of a blue Ford F-250 after having difficulties maneuvering through a curve. The truck was driven by Harlan Taylor, 55, of Girdler.

According to KSP Public Affairs Officer and Trooper Shane Jacobs, Taylor tried to avoid the motorcycle but was unable to, resulting in the motorcycle and truck hitting head-on.

Burke was pronounced dead at the scene by Knox County Coroner Mike Blevins. Burke was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

Taylor did not receive any injuries but was taken to Knox County ARH Hospital for a blood test. This is standard procedure in any type of fatality accident. Drugs or alcohol is not suspected at this time.

Burke practiced medicine for over 25 years before her untimely death. She joined Manchester Memorial Hospital’s Pediatric Clinic in 2014.

“Dr. Burke’s demise is truly a great loss to our organization and to our community as a whole. She will be profoundly missed by everyone whose lives she touched. On behalf of Manchester Memorial Hospital, I extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Dr. Burke,” said Manchester Memorial Hospital President and CEO Erika Skula.

Also assisting at the scene of the accident were the Knox County Sheriff’s Department, Knox County EMS and KSP Detective Josh Cox.

The accident remains under investigation by KSP Trooper Wayne Hensley