Ky. EMT indicted in teen's death

The EMT has been charged with second-degree manslaughter after allegedly driving an ambulance under the influence and hitting a group of teens on bicycles, killing one of them


By Kristina Smith
The Times-Tribune

KNOX COUNTY, Ky. — A Knox County ambulance driver has been charged with second-degree manslaughter after allegedly driving an ambulance under the influence and wrecking into a group of teens riding bicycles — fatally striking one of them.

Kevin French, 25, of Keavy, was named on a four-count indictment returned by a Knox County grand jury Friday.

The first count of the indictment charges French with second-degree manslaughter after he allegedly operated a vehicle “while under the influence of intoxicants” and then wrecked “into Sampson Callender while he was on a bicycle” resulting in Callender’s death.

French was charged with second-degree assault in the second and third counts of the indictment. Each count is for the other two juveniles struck by the ambulance when it wrecked.

The final count of the indictment charges French with speeding. According to the indictment, French was driving at 70 mph in a 55 mph zone.

Initial reports of the wreck by Kentucky State Police stated on Aug. 24 around 10 p.m. Callender and the other two teens were riding their bicycles in the median of U.S. 25E near Sammie’s Auction House when a Knox County ambulance dropped off the roadway and hit all three riders.

Callender was pronounced dead at the scene by the Knox County coroner’s office and the other two juveniles were taken to Baptist Health Corbin hospital for treatment of their injuries.

According to preliminary investigations, the ambulance was traveling northbound on U.S. 25E en route to the hospital with a patient when it dropped off the roadway.

Detective Jason York has been leading the death investigation.

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©2015 The Times-Tribune (Corbin, Ky.)

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