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11-year-old St. Joseph County resident killed in Kentucky crash

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SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. –Two St. Joseph County residents were killed in a car crash involving a box truck on I-64 near the Fayette-Scott County line in Kentucky on Monday.

According to the Scott County Sheriff’s Department, the passenger of the car that was crushed by a box truck was 11-year-old Brody Vanek of St. Joseph County. Brody’s aunt, 48-year-old Donna Vanek, was the driver and was also killed in the crash.

Deputies say the preliminary investigation found that after the first accident on I-64, traffic was slowed or had come to a stop when a vehicle the woman and child were in was struck at a high rate of speed by a box truck driven by 29-year-old Evan Barnett.

Investigators said Tuesday the driver, Barnett, from Lexington, Kentucky, was driving on a suspended license.

Barnett admitted to using controlled substances prior to getting behind the wheel of said box truck, according to affiliate ABC36.

According to a Scott County Sheriff’s Department press release and arrest report, Barnett had “constricted pupils” and admitted using opiates earlier in the day.

Investigators also suspect that Barnett had been distracted and looking at his cell phone when he crashed into the Vanek vehicle.

Barnett has been charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter and was arrested at the accident scene. He was taken to Scott County Detention Center.

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