By Greg Bird
The assault occurred around 8:30 p.m. Saturday night on Cumberland Falls Highway near Corbin, where the victim stated a dark colored truck (black or blue) passed her vehicle and slowed to a complete stop in front of her. A man from the vehicle, approximately 5’10” tall, approached her, and as she rolled down her window she stated the man struck her – reportedly slamming her head in to the steering wheel several times.
The victim was apparently able to escape without further harm and drove herself to the Corbin Hospital, where authorities were contacted.
The Whitley County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident and offered these tips for drivers to help ensure their safety on the roadway:
If forced by another driver to stop, assess the situation and trust your gut feeling as to whether you should immediately call 911.
If you are approached and choose to engage in conversation, lock your doors and only lower your window enough to communicate
If stopped, keep your vehicle in gear with your foot on the brake so that you can quickly escape to an area where you feel safe; if you feel threatened, please call 911 immediately with the most details you can remember so that area law enforcement can be on the lookout.
The incident is helping drive discussion on the growing threat of human trafficking in Kentucky.
According to the Cabinet for Health and Human Services there were 217 reported incidences of child human trafficking in Kentucky between October of last year through this past September. 33 of those cases occurred in the Cumberland Region, the 18-county region in south-central Kentucky – including McCreary. That number is the second highest in the 9 regions designated by the Department of Community Based Services, Only the Northern Bluegrass region had more reported incidences – 46.
Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear announced plans for a statewide campaign earlier this month enlisting hotel and tourism workers to help combat human trafficking.
His campaign encourages hotel owners to sign a pledge to have their employees complete online training on how to look for signs of trafficking and how to safely report the activity.
Beshear stated his office is currently working 14 cases of human trafficking and has assisted local law enforcement agencies around the state to resolve 96 other human trafficking related complaints.