A routine service call took a turn for the worst on Sunday afternoon, forcing Detective Adam Cottrell, with the Grayson County Sheriff’s Department, to stop an out-of-control vehicle with his own police cruiser.
Cottrell was responding to a call in Falls of Rough at just before 4 p.m. on July 20 when he saw the 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer in front of him begin to veer to the right and off of the edge of the westbound lane of Owensboro Road, approximately 10 miles west of Leitchfield.
The Trailblazer struck a rock embankment at the Tilford Drive intersection, becoming airborne for a “significant distance,” according to Cottrell, who said that the cloud of dust and debris created by the SUV’s landing completely obscured his vision of the other vehicle for a brief time.
What Cottrell could not realize at the time is that the operator of the Trailblazer, 59-year-old Dinah M. Newton, of Leitchfield, sustained serious back injuries at the time of impact, leaving her legs completely paralyzed.
Unable to press her brake peddle, Newton was trapped inside the Trailblazer, unable to stop or control the vehicle.
Cottrell said that the Trailblazer continued on westbound on Owensboro Road, weaving erratically and forcing oncoming traffic off of the roadway.
As the vehicles approached the intersection of Owensboro Road and Falls of Rough Road, Cottrell said he knew he had to stop the out-of-control SUV.
“I knew that I had oncoming traffic coming on the eastbound lane, and heavy traffic at the intersection,” Cottrell said, “and I felt like I had to get this vehicle stopped.”
With the Trailblazer now beginning to slow, but still swerving, Cottrell passed Newton and stopped in front of her vehicle, allowing it to hit the rear of his police cruiser and finally bringing the ordeal to a close.
When he approached the Trailblazer, “[Newton] was yelling in pain” Cottrell wrote in his report. She told him that she was completely unable to move her legs.
Cottrell called in Grayson County EMS paramedics, who treated Newton at the scene and transported her to the Rough River airport, where an Air Evac emergency helicopter took over, flying Newton to University of Louisville Hospital for specialized care.
There were no passengers in Newton’s vehicle, and Cottrell suffered no injuries in the collission.