The Richmond Register

Local News

July 16, 2011

Car headed wrong way causes fatal wreck

RICHMOND — The lives of two people were taken early Friday after a collision on Interstate 75 South near Exit 83.

Interstate traffic came to a halt for about three hours while police and emergency response personnel helped clear the scene.

A 1996 Chevy van driven by Joseph Vardeman, 38, of Corbin, was traveling in the wrong direction on Interstate 75 South when his vehicle collided head-on with a 2004 Chevy Impala driven by Megan Crawford, 25, of Metamora, Ill, according to the Kentucky State Police.

Vardeman and Crawford’s passenger Amy Adkins, 26, of East Peoria, Ill. were killed in the crash.

Madison County Coroner Jimmy Cornelison received the call at 4 a.m.

The 911 dispatch center began receiving calls around 3:58 a.m. reporting a person driving in the wrong direction on I-75 South, Cornelison said.

“They (the cars) didn’t look like vehicles,” he said of the wreckage. “It was total destruction. It’s possibly one of the worst things I’ve seen in a while.”

Both victims were killed immediately upon impact, he said.

Crawford is “clinging to her life,” at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, where she remains in critical condition, Cornelison said.

“Richmond Fire Department (workers) were able to extricate (Crawford) in an unspeakable amount of time,” he said. “I didn’t think they were going to be able to get her out, but they popped doors and popped seats and got her out of there in no time flat. Great job.”

Cornelison learned Vardeman was a painter after speaking with his girlfriend.

“She said he goes to work early,” he said. “She couldn’t understand why he would have been in the wrong lane. I did a drug screen on him. We won’t know anything on him for 14 days. That’s normal procedure. Maybe he was just tired or confused.”

Vardeman and Crawford were wearing seat belts, according to the KSP.

However, Cornelison, said he was not sure as to whether seat belts were in use.

“I couldn’t tell in all the mess,” he said. “You can’t imagine how they were twisted in there. For anyone to survived it as long as (Crawford) is amazing. It’s a miracle.”

The crash remains under investigation by the KSP.

Ronica Shannon can be reached at or 624-6608.

Text Only
Local News
  • 7-27 HeartChase 1.jpg A race to the finish line

    Sheltered by overcast sky and supported by a cool breeze, teams competed Saturday morning in the second annual HeartChase at Richmond Centre.

    July 26, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-27 Hops 1.jpg Hops & Vine Festival raises money for humane society

    Downtown Richmond’s Hops and Vine Festival started more than two years ago with a question.

    July 26, 2014 3 Photos

  • Bill Clinton will stump for Grimes in eastern Kentucky

    Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is again calling in the “Big Dog” in her quest to unseat five-term Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

    Former President Bill Clinton will join Grimes on Aug. 6 for a campaign rally in eastern Kentucky, according to a campaign official who would provide no further details.

    July 26, 2014

  • 7-26 Stockyards 2.jpg Cattle farmers enjoying ‛perfect storm’

    Demand is up, and cattle are selling for record prices.

    At the same time, corn prices are down and fuel prices have stabilized.

    That adds up to a “perfect storm” for Kentucky cattle farmers, said Gary Kelly of Paint Lick as he ate lunch Friday with his brother Jimmy at the restaurant across from the Blue Grass Stockyards.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • 7-26 Fire Practice Structure 1.jpg Fire training tower going up

    A new training tower for the Richmond Fire Department is rising on Four Mile Road.

    Construction began Thursday on the four-story, steel-framed structure.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Pavement work to restrict I-75 in Rockcastle County

    Beginning Sunday until about the end of November, Interstate 75 in Rockcastle County will be reduced to one lane in each direction between mile points 58 and 66 for pavement work.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jailed woman charged with heroin trafficking

    A Richmond woman already jailed on another charge was served with a drug trafficking warrant Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

  • County’s jobless rate improves

    Madison County’s unemployment rate for June, 6.5 percent, was a full percentage point lower than a year earlier and 0.2 points lower than in May.

    July 24, 2014

  • 7-25 Camp Invention 1.jpg Young inventors turn trash to treasure

    The first day of Camp Invention began with a room full of objects ready to be recycled, Sarah Shaffer, director of the camp said Thursday.

    July 24, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-25 William Gilbert.jpg Four arrested on meth charges at Berea motel

    Berea Police arrested four people Wednesday at the Knights Inn on Chestnut Street, including a man they said tried to conceal a meth lab on his person.

    July 24, 2014 5 Photos

AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should Madison County’s three local governing bodies ban smoking in indoor public places?

     View Results