Russell Springs, KY Auto And Pickup Collision, Dec 1996



Russell Springs, Ky. - Every year without fail, LUCILLE EADS planned her family's Christmas party.
More than 30 people gathered for this year's event Sunday afternoon to eat her sweets and her famous vegetable soup.
"She was one of the world's greatest cooks," said her brother W. T. Stephens, 40, of Windsor in Casey County.
Afterward, however, tragedy struck. Four members of the EADS family and a young friend were killed and another was seriously injured when their car was hit head-on by a pickup as the family headed east on Ky. 80 in Russell County to visit LUCILLE EADS' mother.
EADS, 43; her husband, EDDIE EADS, also 43; her son, AARON EADS, 16; her granddaughter, BRITTANY BLANKENSHIP, 8 months; and a family friend, ERIN DEBOARD, 15 - all of Russell Springs - were killed when the one-ton pickup crossed into their lane about 6 p.m. near the Casey County line, police said.
ADAM LAWLESS, 15, LUCILLE EADS' son from a previous marriage, was seriously injured University of Louisville Hospital listed him in stable condition last night, but relatives said he might not survive.
"It's beyond horrible," Stephens said.
Police, who suspect alcohol was a factor in the collision, haven't yet determined who was driving the pickup, but neither man in it has a valid driver's license and both have been given blood tests. Police were awaiting results.
One of the men, JACK SHAFFER, 35, of Windsor was indicted twice in a notorious 1988 murder case but never tried, according to The Associated Press. He suffered only minor injuries.
The other man, MARK WIMMER, 35, of Liberty in Casey County, was in fair condition last night after surgery at University of Louisville Hospital.
SHAFFER was treated at Russell County Hospital and lodged in the Russell County jail on charges of disorderly conduct and assaulting a police officer. "He got belligerent and uncooperative," Kentucky State Police Trooper Dwaine Barnett said.
"He actually spit on a police officer and swung at him."
Police said the investigation of the wreck was continuing.
The AP reported that SHAFFER was indicted twice in the rape, kidnapping and murder of 15-year-old Tina Roberts. The first indictment was dismissed for insufficient evidence. In 1991 the Supreme Court threw out a second indictment, ruling that the first dismissal, after Shaffer repeatedly asked for a speedy trial, precluded his being tried again.
Tina's body was found beside a Russell County road. She had been raped and shot six times in the head. No one was ever convicted of the crimes.

Courier-Journal Louisville Kentucky 1996-12-24