A collision between a truck and a motorized scooter in the Walmart parking lot Friday resulted in one woman being sent to the hospital and another facing multiple charges including reckless driving. Dianne Lewis, 43, of Baxter, was arrested by Harlan City Police Cpl. Jeff Owens after Lewis’ black Dodge Dakota collided with a motorized shopping cart being ridden by 56-year-old Mary Rigney.
Owens said his first concern upon arriving at the scene was for Rigney, who was on the parking lot covered in blankets and had several people around her.
“I came straight up to Rigney after I found out she had been struck by a motor vehicle,” said Owens. “I made sure she was OK and that she was breathing well. She said she wasn’t having any trouble breathing, but she had pain in her hip area.”
Owens said he had an ambulance dispatched to the scene.
“Her health was paramount at that time,” said Owens. “She was transported to Harlan ARH Hospital.”
Owens said he then spoke with the driver of the truck.
“She advised that she was backing up and she stopped and another truck had come up beside her,” said Owens. “She hit a bump, and when she looked back she saw a small juvenile girl run from behind the truck. She said she got out of the truck because she thought she may have hit the girl and when she came to the back of the truck she saw Rigney laying on the ground.”
According to Owens, Lewis admitted to him that she might test positive for marijuana.
“Anything that has to do with possible serious physical injury, a field sobriety test is policy,” said Owens. “I took Lewis aside and explained this to her and gave her a standard sobriety test. She admitted to me that she had smoked marijuana a week ago and that it could possibly be in her system.”
Owens said Lewis submitted to blood and urine tests.
“She (Lewis) said she was more worried about Rigney than she was herself,” said Owens.
Owens stated it is the Harlan Police Department’s policy that a person’s well-being is top priority in any situation.
Lewis was charged with reckless driving, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs and failure to register transfer of a motor vehicle.
Owens said Rigney was taken to Harlan ARH Hospital by ambulance where it was determined she had a broken hip and would be flown to Holston Valley Medical Center, Kinsport, Tenn.
Lewis was lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center.
In an unrelated incident, Kentucky State Police troopers Kenny Sergent and Rodney Sturgill responded to a collision at Coxton around 4 p.m. involving a passenger car and a pedestrian.
According to the press release, Judy Bledsoe, 56, of Coxton, was walking on Coxton Road. Virgil Copeland, 70, of Harlan, was operating a 1993 Toyota Corolla on Coxton Road when Bledsoe stepped into Copeland’s lane of travel and was struck by the vehicle. Bledsoe was transported to Harlan ARH Hospital by Johnson’s LifeCare EMS. Copeland and his passenger were uninjured in the collision.
Sturgill is in charge of the collision investigation.
While at the scene of this collision, Sergent arrested Kristi Turner, 37, of Coxton, on an active Harlan County E-warrant. According to the warrant, Turner failed to appear for arraignment on Dec. 3 on a traffic violation.
Turner was lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center with no bond.