Kentucky State Police Trooper Terry Alexander examines the scene of a single-vehicle wreck on Cemetery Road in Warren County on Wednesday morning. Two people were killed when the car left the road and hit a tree.ALEX SLITZ | The (Bowling Green) Daily News
A Ballard County man was killed early Wednesday just outside Bowling Green when the car he was riding in left the roadway and hit a tree.
William Mallory, 19, of La Center, son of WPSD-TV morning anchorman Mike Mallory, was a passenger of a 2003 Chevrolet that Richard Benton Page, 18, of Bowling Green, was driving. Paige failed to negotiate a curve, police report, and the passenger side of the car smashed into the tree.
Both men died at the scene. The two were cousins.
“Every fatal accident I go on is bad,” Warren County deputy coroner Dwayne Lawrence said. “But when you have two youngsters killed, it makes it even more rough to see.”
After hitting the tree, the car caught fire, but the fire was contained to the engine area. The owner of the property off Cemetery Road in Warren County put out the fire. Other neighbors also came onto the scene with buckets of water to cool the car down.
“There were two people at the scene, and one of them was a man who saw the accident and witnessed the car driving very fast,” Trooper Jonathan Biven said. “The other heard the noise, and helped extinguish the fire.”
Lawrence said that both men died of severe head and chest trauma. They were pronounced dead at about 7:20 a.m.
The Bowling Green Daily News reported that a bulldozer was used to pull the truck up the embankment so responders could get to the car’s occupants. The only part of the sedan left intact was the backseat, police said.
Page and Mallory were wearing seat belts, state police said. But Paige was driving in excess of the 55 mph speed limit on the road, police said.
“Excessive speed was a contributing factor in the collision,” state Trooper Terry Alexander said. “The accident is still under investigation.”
Mallory was a three-sport athlete at Ballard Memorial High School, playing football and basketball and participating in track and field. In football, he was a two-year starter at fullback and linebacker and “was one of those kids that pretty much never left the field,” said former Ballard coach Chris Cooper, now an assistant at a school in Alabama.
“He was a special kid,” Cooper continued. “A 32 on the ACT, a 4.0 student and on a full academic scholarship at Kentucky. You don’t have too many kids like him.”
Mallory was also a starting forward on the basketball team, a strong rebounder and defender who helped the Bombers win the All A Classic regional championship for the first time in 2010.
Paducah Sun staff writer Joey Fosko contributed to this report.