February 20, 2019

Law enforcement officials in Boone County, Kentucky suspect that alcohol and speed were factors of an early Friday morning accident that resulted in the death of an Indiana man. Lt. Phillip Ridgell of the Boone County Sheriff’s office says that the deceased was later identified as Joseph Sohmer, 36, of Lawrenceburg, Indiana. At around 2:30 AM Friday morning, Sohmer was operating a 2008 Jaguar S type and was traveling westbound on the Burlington Pike. Sohmer was approaching an intersection and traffic signal on the Aero Parkway.

In a statement by the Boone County Sheriff’s Department, Ridgell stated that Sohmer had failed to negotiate a red traffic light and proceeded into the intersection that connected the Aero Parkway. Moments later, Sohmer had T-Boned a Volvo semi-tractor trailer operated by Stanley Prather, 53, of Hamilton, Ohio. Prather was traveling on Kentucky Highway 18 through the intersection from Oakbrook Drive and onto the northbound lane of the Aero Parkway.

The semi-tractor trailer was owned by Prather’s employer, Triumphant Transportation of West Chester, Ohio.

Sohmer’s car was lodged underneath the entire trailer and was later ejected from the left side. The car continued to run off the road until it came to a final stop on a grass embankment. It is unclear how long Sohmer was under the trailer.

Prather’s vehicle came to a complete stop after the collision, causing traffic on all lanes of the Aero Parkway to be blocked off for over two hours.

It wasn’t until 4:35 AM when the lanes were reopened. However, the westbound section of the Burlington Pike was closed off while the Boone County Sheriff’s Accident Reconstruction team was performing their investigation.

Sohmer was not wearing his seatbelt at the time and was pronounced dead on the scene by Burlington Fire and EMS. The Jaguar operated by Sohmer was completely damaged. Prather was uninjured in the crash.

The Boone County Sheriff’s office stated that alcohol and speed were likely factors. At this time, no charges are being filed.

As of right now, the accident remains under investigation by the Boone County Sheriff’s Office. They are also asking anyone that may have witnessed the accident or the events leading up to it can contact the Boone County Sheriff’s Office while the investigation is ongoing. They can be contacted at 859-334-2175.

This accident is one more reminder that alcohol and driving are incompatible.