September 21, 2023

Warning signage apparently stolen in area where teen drowned

Following the Friday night drowning of a Pulaski County teen who was a passenger in a car that inadvertently drove into Lake Cumberland where Clifty Creek Road meets the water, questions have come about regarding warning signs in the area.

At the time of the drowning of 17-year-old Pulaski County High School graduate Cameron Powell, there was no signage indicating the roadway ends in the water and when it’s dark outside, that issue becomes problematic.

District 2 Magistrate Mickey Garner told WJRS NEWS the county has had signage in the area in the past but that those signs have apparently been stolen. He says the problem of stolen road signs plagues many areas of his district, including near Wolf Creek Dam, as well as throughout the county.

“As soon as you put them up, they take them down or steal them. It’s hard to keep them up,” Garner said of the signage. “We’ll have to order them and put them up, we don’t keep them on hand. It is hard to get people to understand how important those signs are but some people just don’t care.”

Garner said he wasn’t sure when the last times signs were placed in that location and did not know there was no signage in place during last Friday night’s accident but the plan, moving forward, is to replace the signs as soon as possible in an effort to prevent future tragedies like this from happening.

“Sometimes people will call it in and say something, especially if it is a road sign or something…but as far as a water sign, I hadn’t heard anything about it being gone,” Garner said.

Garner noted that, following action by the fiscal court, cameras had even been installed in some locations in an effort to catch sign thieves in the act and ultimately fine them.

“It is hard to catch them,” he said.

Powell’s body was sent to Frankfort for an autopsy where officials ruled drowning as Powell’s cause of death. Toxicology results are still pending.

Somerset Undertaking is in charge of Powell’s funeral arrangements.