By Bobbie Poynter
An Barbourville woman was airlifted to the hospital Tuesday around 4 p.m. after crashing her car into the back of a of a tractor trailer on US25 E in front of Knox Central High School.
KSP reports Brenda K. Laws, 54, of Barbourville was traveling southbound on US 25E when she struck the rear of a 2013 International tractor trailer operated by James W. Sharp, 48, of Gray. Laws was extricated from her vehicle and airlifted to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where she was reported in critical condition.
According to a KSP news release, a passenger in the Laws’ vehicle, Tracy Laws, was taken to the Knox County Hospital and later airlifted to another facility. The release also said the truck driver was treated for minor injuries and released.
However, a Knox County Hospital spokesperson says there is no record of either person being treated at the hospital.
Jeannie Payne, who lives just behind the school, witnessed the driver of the Malibu driving erratically on the highway between Corbin and Barbourville.
“At first, she was all over the road,” said Payne. “We caught up with her at the Corbin shopping center and followed her all the way to Bailey Switch where we managed to get around her. She seemed to be driving good by then. How she got back around us, I don’t know. I just hope she makes it.”
Gerald Baker, Assistant Director of the Emergency Management System said after the victim was cut out of the wreckage, “The victim is a responsive. That’s always a good sign.”
KSP Master Trooper Cornett is in charge of the investigation. Assisting at the scene were troopers Kelley Farris, Chad Gregory, Frank Russell, Jason Partin and Jay Sowders. Also assisting were officers from KSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Branch and Barbourville Police Department. Barbourville City Fire Department assisted in traffic control while the scene was being processed.
David Stewart contributed to this story.