EMS provider who hit, killed teen while driving ambulance sentenced

Kevin French was sentenced for striking and killing a teen who was riding his bike while driving an ambulance under the influence

By Timothy Wyatt
The Times-Tribune

KNOX COUNTY, Ky. — A former Knox County EMS provider who struck and killed a teenager with an ambulance in 2014 was sentenced to 12 months in jail Friday, though he will only serve that time if he violates parole.

Kevin French, 28, faced charges of second-degree manslaughter, two counts of second-degree assault and speeding after the ambulance he was driving dropped off the roadway and hit three teenagers who were riding their bicycles in the median of US-25E near Sammie's Auction House in the Gray community. One of the teenagers, Sampson Callender, 14, died from injuries sustained during the incident.

French was indicted in July 2015 for the above charges. According to that indictment, French was driving 70 mph in a 55 mph zone and was under the influence of intoxicants at the time of the incident.

In November 2017, French accepted a plea agreement with the Commonwealth Attorney's office, amending his charges to second-degree wanton endangerment. The former second-degree manslaughter charge alone was a Class C felony capable of carrying five to 10 years in prison. The amended charges are listed as a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of 12 months in the county jail.

Commonwealth Attorney Jackie Steele then recommended French be sentenced to 12 months in jail, to be probated for a span of 24 months.

French appeared in Knox County Circuit Court Friday for formal sentencing, where Judge Greg Lay ruled to accept the Commonwealth's recommendation for the sentence. If French complies with the terms of his probation and has no charges filed against him in the next two years, he will serve no jail time.

Lay also ruled that French pay the court $130 in court costs within the next 60 days.

The case was set for a jury trial last month, but was waived following the plea agreement.

Copyright 2018 The Times-Tribune

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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