The Great Hang Up: Esh Family Killed By Man On Cell Phone

12:23 PM, May 7, 2010   |    comments
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Louisville, Kentucky -- Kentucky State Investigators say a man on his cell phone was responsible for killing himself and 10 other people, some of whom once lived the Piedmont.

The wreck happened on Interstate 65 in Kentucky on March 26. An Alabama tractor-trailer driver, Kenneth Laymon, last control of his vehicle, crossed the median and rammed a van carrying Mennonites traveling to an Iowa wedding.

The Courier-Journal, a Gannett-affiliate newspaper, obtained records showing Laymon was talking on a cell phone and may have been speeding when the wreck happened.

Killed in the van were John Esh, 64, owner of a vinyl-building business in Marrowbone, Ky., and his 62-year-old wife, Sadie Esh; their daughters, Rose, 40, Anna, 33, and Rachel, 20; their son, Leroy, 41, and his wife, Naomi, 33, and that couple's adopted infant son, Jalen. Also killed were Joel Gingerich, 22, Rachel's fiancé, and Ashlie Kramer, 22, an Esh family friend.

The only survivors of the crash, which is under federal investigation, were two adopted sons of Leroy and Naomi Esh - Josiah, 5, and Johnny, 3, who are being cared for by their maternal grandparents.

The community of Yanceyville mourned the families loss. The Esh family use to live in Caswell County. They moved in 2001 but left behind a legacy including a branch of Esh Buildings.

RELATED: Yanceyville Community Mourns Fatal Kentucky Crash

WFMY News 2 has launched a program called The Great Hang Up. It encourages drivers to put away their phones while driving a car. It's a pledge anyone can take.

PLEDGE: Take the pledge!

The pledge is to do your best to stop texting, emailing and talking on the phone while behind the wheel.

AP/WFMY News 2

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