Driver dies after hitting tree in Fort Thomas

Driver dies after hitting tree in Fort Thomas
Posted at 2:13 PM, Sep 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-18 14:20:02-04

FORT THOMAS, Ky. -- A 45-year-old man from Dayton, Kentucky died early Sunday when his car crashed into a tree, along a stretch of road a longtime neighbor says has been a problem for years.

According to Fort Thomas police, the driver was headed south on South Grand Avenue when he hopped a curb, went through two yards and crashed into the tree at the corner of Grand and Greenwood Avenue at about 1 a.m.

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was in the vehicle when witnesses and police arrived. The man's name will be released once family members are notified.

Lt. Casey Kilgore told Fort Thomas Matters it's not clear if drugs or alcohol were a factor. The coroner's office will perform a toxicology report on the case.

Susan Twehues said she heard the crash from her home. The driver was still alive, she said.

"The first thing I saw was that the hood was smoking," Twehues told Fort Thomas Matters. "I ran down to see if I could get anyone to respond, because the airbags were deployed and all the windows were smashed."

Emergency crews had to cut the man out of the car; the coroner arrived at about 2:30 a.m., she said.

Katie Conley, who said she's lived at the corner of Grand and Greenwood for nearly 30 years, told Fort Thomas Matters the curve has been the scene of numerous crashes -- and usually, she said, they involve alcohol.

"It's a bad curve if you don't know the road. I think people drive way too fast on Grand Avenue, especially in this section," Conley said.

Matt and Meaghan Horton, who live on the other side of Grand Avenue from Conley, said a driver hit their retaining wall about a month ago. According to police reports, that driver was under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

"We've only been here for 18 months. We knew we lived on a four-lane road, but we weren't really expecting this, but our neighbors have said this happens here. With the recent stretch of events here, we are kind of concerned," Matt Horton said.


Mark Collier, publisher and editor of WCPO news partner Fort Thomas Matters, contributed to this report. Read his story here.