Couple dies in wreck, second fatal I-24 crash of the week

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Web Editor - Michael Vick
Photojournalist - Terry Snell

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, Ky. — A Paducah couple died in a multiple-vehicle accident Wednesday evening on Interstate 24.

The deputy coroner pronounced Frank Wallace, 78, and wife Mary Wallace, 80, dead at Lourdes Hospital.

The fatal accident was one of three in quick succession Wednesday evening on I-24 at the U.S. 45/Lone Oak Road exit ramp.

The first was at 6:15 p.m., when 30-year-old Allen A. Day's pickup truck apparently hydroplaned on wet pavement and he lost control. The truck ran off the road into a grassy area between the interstate and the exit ramp.

Kathy York, 48, of Paducah, slowed as she approached emergency vehicles at the first accident scene. Andrew Esau, 20, of Murray, Kentucky, rear-ended York with his pickup.

Frank Wallace slowed as he approached the second accident. John M. Patterson, 42, of Paducah, struck Wallace's car from behind, shoving it into the inside lane and into the path of a tractor-trailer, which had changed to the inside traffic lane to avoid the earlier collisions.

The truck driver, Emory Sigman Jr., 56, of Conyers, Georgia, struck Wallace's car on the driver's side.

One of the vehicles sideswiped a car driven by Gina Darnall, 46, of Benton, Kentucky, but investigators are still looking into which one.

York and her two passengers were taken to Lourdes Hospital for treatment of reported minor injuries. No other injuries were reported.

The Paducah Police Department’s accident reconstruction team is reconstructing the fatal accident.

The Wednesday evening wrecks shut down parts of I-24 for several hours while emergency crews worked to help motorists and cleared the scenes.

Officers from Kentucky State Police, the Paducah Police Department, and the McCracken County Sheriff's Department were all involved in emergency response Wednesday.

The Wallces fatal accident was less than one-half mile from the scene of a collision Monday that claimed the life of a young McCracken County man, Robert Partin.

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