On the night of January 12, 1994, Guy Champ Crawford was killed near Isom, KY. He approached a grossly overloaded coal truck from the rear on a long, steep grade. The truck was so heavy that it was traveling at only about a third of the speed limit, and it did not have proper rear lights or reflectors. Guy was not able to see it in time to keep from hitting it, and the truck had no underride guard.
Guy was almost completely decapitated. He was only 16 years old.
The primary reason this crash happened is that the governor of Kentucky at the time, a former coal operator, called law enforcement off coal trucks so they could haul grossly overweight loads. Overweight coal trucks travel at unusually low speeds on the long steep grades of Kentucky roads. The pervasive culture of ignoring coal truck violations allowed law enforcement to look the other way on rear conspicuity issues and a lack of underride guards. This combination of conditions caused dozens of such fatalities in the region.
The truck that killed Guy was never weighed, and no violations were written for the lack of lights, reflectors, the driver violating CDL requirements, or the lack of underride guards. The driver got off completely free.