Tribune-Courier General Manager
BENTON – As residents across Marshall County began to gather in houses of worship Sunday morning, news that one of the victims of the Memorial Day car crash had taken a turn for the worse began to spread via text message and social media.
On Sunday night a community prayer service drew hundreds to Mike Miller Park in Draffenville.
Landon Lovett, daughter of Marshall County School Superintendent Trent Lovett, was transferred from the trauma unit of Vanderbilt University Medical to Western Baptist Hospital in Paducah Monday. According to Russ Buchanan, Information Officer for Marshall County Schools, this is being done at the advice of a a local physician and friend of the Lovett family.
Lovett has been hospitalized since last Monday when 24-year old Cory Burkeen of Gilbertsville crossed the center line in his vehicle on Highway 95 and hit the car in which she was a passenger nearly head on.
The family wishes to thank the community for the overwhelming outpouring of support and ask for continued prayers for their daughter. “It’s like the community is on God’s back and we are on the community’s back,” said Trent Lovett.
Also critically injured in the crash was Shane McKenty. He remains hospitalized in Vanderbilt with life threatening injuries. Buchanan said McKenty has been moved out of the trauma unit at Vanderbilt into an intensive care room. He remains in a coma, but is starting to respond to voices.
On Friday Lovett was placed in a medically induced coma, but by Sunday brain swelling had worsened and the news surrounding her condition left friends and family praying for a miracle.
Maggie Adams and Lake McGregor also received minor injuries in the crash.
All were college students home for summer break. Lovett and Adams are students at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, McKenty and McGregor attend West Kentucky Community and Technical College.
Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Byars says his office is awaiting toxicology reports to decide if Burkeen will be charged surrounding the crash. Officers working the scene of the crash have said he smelled of alcohol and alcoholic beverages were found in the wreckage of his vehicle. Burkeen was also airlifted to Vanderbilt Monday night, but has since been released.
A number of fund raisers have been organized to help the families of the injured with expenses. On Sunday, June 10 a concert will be held at The Kentucky Opry in Draffenville. The event will feature local bands and musicians, along with a silent auction and t-shirt sales. Accounts for Lovett and McKenty have also been established at CFSB. Contributions may be made at any branch of the bank.