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Interstate crash injures seven

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By Lisa King

Seven people were hospitalized Tuesday after a single vehicle car crash on the interstate at the Shelby-Franklin County line.

The accident happened at about 5 p.m. in the eastbound lane of I-64. Victims were taken to the University of Louisville and Frankfort Regional Medical Center by Shelby County EMS, and air-lifted to the University of Kentucky.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Office worked the accident, assisted by Kentucky State Police. Shelby County deputy sheriff Ray White said the accident occurred as a family of seven were returning to Versailles after spending the day at the Louisville Zoo.

According to White, the driver, Marilyn D. Paterno, 62, of Massachusetts, fell asleep at the wheel in the fast lane. She woke up as her 2004 Toyota Sienna was leaving the roadway, he said.

"She grabs the wheel, and she jerks it to the right and overcorrects," he said. "When she overcorrects, it just automatically shoots across two lanes off the right shoulder. When her vehicle went up on that embankment, it flipped the van over."

After overturning, the van skidded on its roof, coming to rest in the right lane.

White said they were very lucky no one was killed.

"The only thing that kept everybody safe was that they were all wearing their seat belts," he said.

Paterno and her husband, David, were taken to the University of Louisville, as was Richard Kirk of Massachusetts and Qwenn Ely of Pennsylvania. James Kirk of Versailles and Virginia Kirk of Massachusetts were taken to Frankfort Regional, and Michael Kirk of Pennsylvania was air-lifted to the University of Kentucky.

White said none of the victims appeared to have life-threatening injuries except for Michael Kirk, who was listed in good condition on Wednesday.

The interstate was shut down for two hours while the wreck was cleared off the roadway.