McCracken Co. Sheriff's captain risks life to end wild dump truck chase on I-24

Dalton Lampley (Source: KFVS Viewer)
Dalton Lampley (Source: KFVS Viewer)
McCracken Co. Sheriffs Capt. JT Coleman, who laid a spike strip that successfully brought the runaway dump truck to a halt. Coleman was not injured. (Source: McCracken County Sheriff's Dept.)
McCracken Co. Sheriffs Capt. JT Coleman, who laid a spike strip that successfully brought the runaway dump truck to a halt. Coleman was not injured. (Source: McCracken County Sheriff's Dept.)

KENTUCKY (KFVS) - Six people were injured and a Calvert City, Kentucky man is behind bars after he allegedly leading police on a pursuit down Interstate 24 in a dump truck.

The initial calls

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said they received reports of multiple crashes along I-24 (westbound lanes) from Exit 7 at Paducah to Exit 25 at Calvert City.

Prior to the initiation of the pursuit, McCracken County's Dispatch Center received multiple calls reporting a dump truck traveling the wrong way on the Interstate. Early reports showed that the truck had been involved in a number of crashes along this section of I-24 in McCracken and Marshall Counties.

Initial reports indicated that a Waste Path trash truck was driving east in the westbound lanes and, like the previous reports, struck numerous vehicles. It apparently fled the scene and a short distance later, crossed the median and continued east in the correct lanes.

The chase

At approximately 1 p.m., Kentucky State Police responded to the area of the 16 mile marker of Interstate 24 to assist McCracken County Sheriff Department. Upon the arrival of troopers near the McCracken/Marshall County line in Interstate 24, KSP took the lead in the pursuit.

The vehicle refused to stop for officers and exited the interstate near Calvert City.

The pursuit continued into the city of Calvert City and ended near the intersection of Highway 1523 and Highway 62, where the dump truck became disabled.

The McCracken Co. Sheriff's Department also pointed out on Facebook just how dangerous the situation actually was, and described how McCracken Co. Sheriff Captain JT Coleman risked his life to end the chase:

Concerning the pursuit this afternoon with the large truck, it is worth mentioning and recognizing how this dangerous situation was stopped.

The driver, Dalton M. Lampley, 23, of Calvert City, Kentucky was taken into custody.

The drivers

Nine drivers were involved, four of which had passengers in their vehicles. Details on the drivers are as follows:

  • Driver 1:  Dalton M. Lampley, 23, of Calvert City, driving a 2007 Kenworth tractor and trailer east on Interstate 24
  • Driver 2:  Murray L. Moore, 49, of Reidland Road, Paducah, driving a 1999 GMC pickup truck west on Interstate 24 (driver, no passengers)
  • Driver 3:  Nancy G. Gilbert, 70, of Ledbetter, KY, driving a 2016 BMW west on Interstate 24 (driver, no passengers)
  • Driver 4:  Teresita T. Jude, 46, of Huntsville, AL, driving a 2016 Toyota Camry west on Interstate 24 (driver, three passengers)
  • Driver 5:  Albi Jelke, 50, of Huntsville, AL, driving a 2017 Nissan Rogue west on Interstate 24 (driver, four passengers)
  • Driver 6:  Rostina Jatios, 42, of Tigard, OR, driving a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee west on Interstate 24 (driver, four passengers)
  • Driver 7:  Abrielle Fischer, 18, of St. Louis, MO, driving a 2003 Jeep Liberty west on Interstate 24 (driver, one passenger)
  • Driver 8:  Gracelynne M. Hamann, 16, of Silex, MO, driving a 2006 Ford Econoline van west on Interstate 24 (driver, six passengers)
  • Driver 9:  Matthew B. Schmitter, 58, of Ringgold, GA, driving a 2003 Kenworth tractor and trailer west on Interstate 24 (driver, no passengers)

Officer Brian Kopischke reported that Lampley was eastbound on Interstate 24 and crossed the median, knocking down the median barrier cables at mile post 5.2. He then proceeded east in the westbound lanes.

The other eight vehicles involved were all westbound.

Kopischke said Lampley hit head-on a GMC pickup truck driven by Murray L. Moore. The pickup truck came to rest in the median; Moore told officers he does not know what happened.

Lampley also hit head-on a BMW driven by Nancy Gilbert. The BMW spun around, and the rear of the car was hit by the Lampley's Kenworth trailer. The BMW came landed on the shoulder of the interstate, facing south. Gilbert also told Kopischke she does not remember the collision.

Lampley continued eastbound, driving half on the shoulder and half on the outside westbound lane. Teresita Jude said she was driving in the inside lane and hit the brakes when she saw Dalton's trailer coming toward her.

Her Toyota Camry was hit in the rear by a Nissan Rogue driven by Albi Jelke. Jelke said she could not stop in time to avoid Jude.

This created a line of collisions behind the two drivers.

Jelke's Rogue then was hit in the rear by a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by Rostina Jatios.  Jatios also said she could not stop in time to avoid Jelke.

Jatios' Grand Cherokee then was hit in the rear by a 2003 Jeep Liberty driven by Abrielle Fischer. Fischer said she swerved to the left to avoid the on-coming Kenworth, and hit the Grand Cherokee in the rear.

Her Liberty then was hit in the rear by a Ford Econoline van, driven by Gracelynne Hamann, and came to rest against the concrete wall on the shoulder of the overpass.

Hamann told Kopischke she was driving in the outside lane when she saw Lampley coming toward her.  She said she swerved to the left to avoid it and hit the Liberty in the rear, then swerved back to the right after Lampley had passed.  Her van came to rest on the outside shoulder of the overpass.

Finally, Matthew B. Schmitter was driving a Kenworth tractor and trailer west in the outside lane of the interstate and saw the Lampley coming toward him.

He said he swerved to the right to avoid Lampley, and the Lampley's truck swerved into the inside lane just prior to hitting him.  He said he swerved back to the left to avoid jack-knifing his truck and tractor, and his mirror clipped a dump truck passing him. Schmitter said that truck did not stop.

Later, the Lampley crossed back across the median into the eastbound lanes.

Sheriff's deputies and Kentucky State Police troopers pursued Lampley to Exit 25 at Calvert City.

The truck eventually was stopped and Lampley, was taken into custody.

He was charged Friday night by Paducah police with six counts of first-degree assault.  He also faces numerous charges in Marshall County.

Murray L. Moore, Nancy G. Gilbert, Abrielle Fischer and her passenger Kaitlyn Nienhaus of St. Louis, Gracelynne M. Hamann and her passenger, Angela Hamann, 52, of Silex, MO were injured during the incident.

The aftermath

In all, the Waste Path truck hit – or caused to crash – seven passenger vehicles and one semi-truck.

Besides the six injured, there were 19 others in the vehicles. They were transported by Paducah Area Transit System busses to the Marshall Nemer Pavilion at Lourdes Hospital, where police department and hospital personnel were assisting them.

One of the injured was taken by helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Lampley was transported to Marshall County Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Charges filed

Upon his release from the Hospital, Lampley was lodged in the Marshall County Jail for multiple charges including fleeing or evading police, wanton endangerment of a police officer, driving under the influence, possession of a controlled substance (meth), possession of drug paraphernalia, and resisting arrest.

As of Friday, June 16 Lampley was indicted. There are 11 charges against him according to officers at the Marshall County Jail.

Lampley was charged with:

  • fleeing or evading a police officer, first degree, first offense
  • possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) first offense
  • drug paraphernalia possession
  • endangering a police officer first degree
  • reckless driving
  • disregarding a stop sign
  • license to be in possession
  • criminal littering
  • resisting arrest
  • criminal mischief second degree
  • operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, first offense, aggravated

He is being held on a cash bond of $100,000.

Assisting KSP during the pursuit and investigation were McCracken County Sheriff Department, Marshall County Sheriff Department, Calvert City Police Department, Paducah Police Department, and Marshall County Ambulance Service.

The investigation is continuing by Trooper Donald Bowman and Paducah Police Department.

McCracken County 911 Dispatch reports that as of 5 p.m., both westbound lanes of I-24 are now open between Calvert City Exit 25 and Paducah Exit 7.

Traffic is moving slowly, but it is starting to clear.

Motorists traveling I-24 between the 25 and 7 mile marker westbound should continue to use caution as it may take a half hour or more for traffic to return to normal flow.

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2017 KFVS. All rights reserved.