Crash sends three to hospital


Reporter - Jennifer Horbelt
Photojournalist - Chad Darnall

BENTON, Ky. — The driver of a Ford Explorer that crashed into a Subway restaurant late Wednesday morning has been charged with wanton endangerment.

Witnesses say the driver, Randy L. Prather, didn't stop at the light just outside the Subway, then hit a pole and crashed through the front door of the restaurant. Benton Police Chief Tracy Watwood called Prather reckless.

Emergency crews freed the trapped driver and transported him and two pedestrians to a local hospital for treatment.

The crash severely damaged the traffic signal at the busy intersection of US 641/North Main Street and KY 348/West 5th Street.

The intersection is temporarily functioning as a 4-way stop.  Motorists should use extra caution in the area.  Some delays are possible during peak travel times.

This is at the convergence of US 641/North Main Street/Elm Street and KY 348/West 5th Street/Symsonia Road on the north side of Benton at the start of the one-way section of US 641 through the downtown area.

An electrical contractor is scheduled to start reconstructing the traffic signal on Thursday.  Motorists should be alert for a crew working at the intersection during daylight hours over the next two days.

A toxicology report is pending, as are additional charges.