SOMERSET — UPDATE: Justin I. Litton, 36, was arrested at 5:16 p.m. Monday evening as he was being discharged from the University of Kentucky Medical Center. Somerset Police have charged him with the murder of Levi Stephens after further investigation into a March 16 wreck on West KY 80 revealed that Litton intentionally hit Stephens' vehicle, despite the Pine Knot man's efforts to avoid the collision.
The wreck was captured by a dash camera from a Pulaski County Sheriff's cruiser which had been following Litton. According to the Somerset Police Department, Litton had been the subject of a bulletin earlier in the evening. Family had reported Litton as impaired and threatening "suicide by pulling into the path of another vehicle."
Litton has been lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center under a $250,000 bond.
Stephens' visitation has been scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. at the Pine Knot Funeral Home. Funeral services will start at 2 p.m. the next day.
The original story follows below:
A former Pine Knot man is dead after his car was hit head on Saturday night in Pulaski County.
Levi Stephens, 33, of Somerset was westbound on West KY 80 at approximately 10 p.m. when the 2005 Suzuki he was driving was struck by an eastbound 1998 Nissan which crossed the center line.
Just a few minutes before, according to the Somerset Police Department, a Pulaski County deputy sheriff had noticed the Nissan parked at a closed business with its headlights off. When the deputy turned to check the situation, the car — driven by Justin Litton, 36, of Somerset — pulled out and headed toward Somerset.
A short distance later, just west of the WTLO Road intersection, Litton struck Stephens. The impact sent Stephens’ Suzuki off the road completely and onto the north side of the highway. Both drivers had to be extricated from their vehicles.
An Air Methods helicopter airlifted Litton — who was reportedly not wearing his seat belt — to the University of Kentucky Medical Center for reported leg injuries, while Stephens — who reportedly had been belted — was transported by ambulance to the Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital where he was later pronounced dead by the Pulaski County Coroner’s Office.
Traffic at the scene was blocked for about three hours as the Somerset Police Department reconstructed the crash. Assisting were the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, Pulaski County Coroner’s Office, Somerset-Pulaski County EMS, Somerset Fire Department, and Somerset-Pulaski County Haz-Mat Special Response Team.
Somerset Police Department is continuing the investigation with alcohol suspected as a possible contributing factor. WKYT reports that alcohol containers were found in the back of Litton’s vehicle.
Funeral arrangements for Levi Stephens were pending at press time. Pine Knot Funeral Home is assisting his family. An incomplete obituary can be found on Page 6A.