There’s no questioning its popularity. The 400 Mile Yard Sale, or U.S. 68 400 Mile Antiques, Collectibles and Stuff event, as it is also known, is a hit with bargain hunters.
Unfortuantely, it tends to create “hits” of another sort, in the form of fender benders and worse.
Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Byars said the weekend of the 400 Mile Yard Sale is “one we dread quite a bit,” and this year’s edition of the event matched the sheriff’s expectations.
In Marshall County, six traffic accidents were reported along the route during the event Thursday through Saturday. Three of the incidents resulted in injuries.
One accident was on U.S. 68 in the Sharpe area, where a motorcyclist wrecked his bike trying to keep from rear-ending a car.
“People just stop in the middle of the road looking at the sales and then make sudden turns, they park along the roads and they are for the most part unfamiliar with the area,” Byars said. “It creates quite a dangerous situation.”
Byars said none of the injuries from the accidents appeared to be life-threatening.
No statistics statewide were available.
The course of the event that falls under Byars’ jurisdiction was approximately doubled this year by official addition of the stretch of U.S. 641 from northern Marshall County through Murray and Hazel and into Henry County, Tenn.
But residents along that route, and potential customers as well, had already begun to expand into that venue and other side routes off U.S. 68, long before this year.
According to organizers of the event, more than 50 communities across the state participate in the event.
Now in its tenth year, the 400-mile sale stretches across Kentucky from Paducah to Maysville.
Byars said traffic seemed to be much heavier in Marshall County this year than in the past.
“We end up working several wrecks along the sale route from county line to county line” every year, Byars said.