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Lampley has first court appearance

BY KAT RUSSELL krussell@paducahsun.com

A Calvert City man who faces multiple charges in McCracken and Marshall counties after allegedly driving a garbage truck the wrong way on Interstate 24 in March made his first appearance Tuesday morning in McCracken District Court.

Dalton Lampley, 23, faces six counts of first-degree assault and one count each of first-degree fleeing and evading police and reckless driving in McCracken County. He appeared for arraignment Tuesday with his attorney, Jeremy Ian Smith, and a plea of not guilty was entered.

The charges stem from an incident on March 18 when Lampley, a former Waste Path employee, allegedly drove a Waste Path garbage truck into oncoming traffic on I-24, causing a string of wrecks that injured six people.

Paducah Police Chief Brandon Barnhill said Lampley was driving the garbage truck east near Mile Marker 5 when the vehicle crossed the median into oncoming traffic, striking some vehicles and causing other collisions.

Lampley continued down the wrong side of the interstate for several miles before crossing back over median near Mile Marker 8, returning to the eastbound lanes, Barnhill said.

He then fled police, triggering a pursuit that ended in Calvert City.

During a preliminary hearing on March 29 in Benton, Kentucky State Police Trooper Donald Bowman described the pursuit as Lampley entered the Calvert City area.

Bowman said Lampley was driving erratically, weaving "side to side," running some vehicles off the road.

At one point, Bowman said, the truck nearly hit a man who was checking his mailbox. The trooper said the man had to "run away" to avoid being hit.

The truck was finally brought to a stop near Ky. 1523 and U.S. 62 when McCracken Capt. JT Coleman placed a series of spike strips in the truck's path, causing four of the tires to blow.

Lampley then lost control of the vehicle, drove off the road and crashed into a guardrail, authorities said.

When police finally got Lampley out of the vehicle, Bowman said, he had a "crazy, spaced-out" look on his face.

While taking him into custody, police searched Lampley, allegedly finding a small bag of methamphetamine. Police said Lampley admitted to being high on meth the night before the incident.

Lampley is charged with first-degree fleeing or evading police, first-degree wanton endangerment of a police officer, driving under the influence, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest in Marshall County. That case has been sent to a Marshall grand jury for indictment.

Lampley will next appear in McCracken County for a preliminary hearing on May 2.

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