One woman was pronounced dead and two other women injured after a car crash during the solar eclipse on Monday in Kentucky.
The incident occurred in the afternoon in Leslie County on Sycamore Street near Primary Care in Hyden, according to local media. In her 2001 Lincoln LS, driver Alyssa Noble, 38, crossed the center line, struck a utility pole and then hit two women on the sidewalk. According to NBC News, one of the women, 23-year-old Mackenzie P. Hays suffered fatal injuries and died on the spot. The other, 41-year-old Rhonda Belcher, was airlifted to the Univerity of Kentucky Hospital. Noble, on the other hand, was taken to Holston-Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tennessee, officials said.
“It isn’t clear at this time what led to her crashing,” state police Capt. Jennifer Sandlin told NBC News in an email. “The cause is still under investigation” by the Kentucky State Police.”
According to WKYT-TV, Hays and Belcher worked at Primary Care Centers and were on their lunch break when the incident occurred.
“A tragic accident occurred today involving our Primary Care Centers family. Officials are investigating the accident,” Barry Martin, the CEO of Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky said in a statement. “We are asking that everyone keep all of those involved in your prayers and be respectful of their privacy.”
This car crash was not the only unfortunate one to take place on Monday. An 18-year-old hiker fell 20 feet down a cliff around noon, just an hour before the eclipse reached totality in Southern Illinois. However, he was airlifted to a nearby hospital and is expected to live.
As a result of Monday’s solar eclipse event, emergency physicians were prepared to receive a temporary influx of emergency visits across the country, especially in areas that were in the direct path of the eclipse.
“I suspect there will be an increase in patient traffic to ERs, especially in the areas expecting a large influx of eclipse watchers,” Becky Parker, MD, FACEP, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said in a statement. “When a population surges, even temporarily, ER visits tend to rise. Anything out of the ordinary that shakes up a regular routine, like this eclipse, or daylight savings, can lead to more vehicle accidents. Be mindful of that.”
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