Attorney General Andy Beshear today announced that his office is working with Tennessee law enforcement to focus on the effective prosecution of vehicular homicide cases.
The annual training event, being held in Pigeon Forge June 13-15, brings together Kentucky commonwealth’s attorneys with prosecutors from the Tennessee District Attorney’s Office and crash reconstruction officers from both states.
“Unfortunately, the Commonwealth has experienced a 10 percent increase in annual highway fatalities from 2015 through 2016,” Beshear said. “My administration is focused on addressing the persistent challenges our families face, and one of those is better addressing Kentucky’s drug epidemic. Every time our families, our friends or our children get in a vehicle, they are at risk of being harmed by a driver under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.”
In 2016, 834 people were killed on Kentucky’s roadways.
A statistic that remains constant, Beshear said, is that one in five highway fatalities are in crashes that involved alcohol.
In Kentucky last year, there were more than 6,228 collisions involving alcohol and drugs, resulting in more than 2,900 injuries and 167 fatalities.
Advanced training in this area by prosecutors and crash reconstructionists will improve the ability of prosecutors to both recognize these events as well as to successfully prosecute them when warranted, Beshear said.
Attorney General’s Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Robert Stokes will work in coordination with his Tennessee counterpart to present the training, which is open to the media. The training is at the Courtyard Marriott at 120 Community Drive in Pigeon Forge.
The goal of the training is to create a team building approach between crash reconstruction officers and state prosecutors, Stokes said.
The training is presented under the direction of the American Prosecutors Research Institute’s (APRI) National Traffic Law Center. Last year’s training was held at Lake Barkley State Park in Cadiz.