Kentucky State Police trooper Rob Farley said Collen Bare, 12, of Gray, Tenn., was operating a Yamaha Raptor 80cc ATV south on the shoulder of U.S. 119 when he made an abrupt left turn onto U.S. 119 into the path of a 2007 Ford F-150 operated by Timothy Branson, 40, of Loyall.
Farley said Branson said he swerved toward the center line to avoid a collision but was unable to. The front of the truck struck the ATVs left side. The ATV then overturned several times, ejecting Bare. Branson’s truck came to a final rest off the northbound shoulder.
Farley said Bare sustained several critical injuries. Harlan EMS ambulance personnel tended to Bare at the scene. A helicopter from P.H.I. Ambulance Service landed on U.S. 119 and airlifted Bare to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn.
The highway was shut down around an hour and a half to investigate the crash and to set up a landing zone for the helicopter. The crash occurred at the entrance of the Putney Trailhead Campground, where it appeared that Bare was turning.
Farley said Bare was wearing a helmet and Branson was wearing a seat belt.
Due to the seriousness of the crash and injuries, the state police collected a blood and urine specimen from Branson to be sent to the lab.
Farley was assisted at the crash by KSP Sgt. Damon Gayheart, trooper Jeremy Lee and Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement officer Rocky Johnson.