Benefit Planned for Logan County Woman Recovering from Accident

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RUSSELLVILLE, Ky. (WBKO) -- Kelly Hargis Whittaker, a newlywed of five months, was on her way home from work when she collided with a semi-tractor trailer on Hwy. 68-80.

Her husband of five months, and Russellville Police Officer, Seth Whittaker, was not on the scene when it happened, but one fellow law enforcement officer who has known him for years was, and is shocked she lived.

"I was on the scene of the accident that night. Me and the other officers that were there really didn't give her much of a chance of survival the way we'd seen her, so I would say the recovery she's done at this point is nothing short of a miracle," said Logan County Sheriff's Department Patrol Captain David Kitchens.

After more than a month in Vanderbilt and several surgeries, Kelly will be able to go home tomorrow. Kitchens says although she can walk, she is using a wheelchair, and due to brain injuries, may still lose sight in one eye.

Some friends of Seth's at the Logan County 911 Center knew the Whittakers would need help paying for all the medical expenses, so they decided to hold a benefit next month at Logan County High School.

"Everybody in this community and surrounding communities... we've heard from people in different states. The outpour... I can't even tell you how awesome it's been," said Logan County 911 Center Assistant Director Marsha Bailey.

During the benefit, local photographer Billie Shaye Trembley will be taking pictures for purchase with the proceeds benefiting the Whittakers. Bailey says Trembley offered to help because she knows what it's like to lose a loved one to an accident.

"On January the 20th, two years ago, her mother, which is my sister, got killed in an automobile accident just a few miles down the road, and she said it hit home pretty hard, and she wanted to do something to help them," said Bailey.

The event, set for Saturday, March 8 at 4 p.m. at Logan County High School, is free with the option to make contributions through a silent and live auction, cake walk and the purchase of T-shirts in support of Kelly.

The event will also include dinner from Roy's BBQ, and gospel singing by the Mission of Love Trio. Tim Haley and Riley Burchett are providing the auctioneer services. The photo sessions with Billie Shaye Style Photography will be available from 4 to 6 p.m. Singing and dinner begins at 5 p.m., and the live auction starts at 7 p.m.

Bailey says the Sonic on Main St. in Russellville will also be donating ten percent of their sales on Saturday, March 1 to the Seth and Kelly Benefit. Those interested in purchasing T-shirts can call (270) 772-0425, or send a message to the Seth and Kelly Hargis Whittaker Benefit Facebook page, which can be found at the related link.

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