A Lincoln County Grand Jury indicted Brett D. Whittaker, 27, of Somerset, for two counts of wanton murder in the highway deaths of a Berea couple in Lincoln County on July 9. John and Lavada Rowland, both 48, were killed instantly when Whittaker crossed the centerline of US 27 and struck them head on.
Whittaker was traveling south on US 27 near the Lincoln/Garrard county line around 10 p.m. in a pickup truck when he struck the Rowland’s Toyota Corolla. The Rowlands had been in Stanford that day helping renovate a building at the end of Miller Street that is to be a new church.
Lincoln County Coroner Farris Marcum declared the Rowlands dead at the scene and Whittaker was flown to UK Chandler Medical Center. KSP officers received a warrant to collect blood and DNA evidence at the scene from the glass and airbag of Whittaker’s vehicle and from his person in the hospital to determine whether he was intoxicated at the time of the accident. It was reported back in July that an alcohol container was found in the cab of Whittaker’s truck, but only a test from the Commonwealth Medical Examiner in Frankfort will be able to determine if Whittaker was drunk at the time.