Travelers Voice Concerns With Rest Area Safety

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SIMPSON COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) -- Many of the travelers stopping by the Kentucky Welcome Center Wednesday had no idea about the deadly shooting that happened there last night.

Now, after finding out, some said they won't stop at a rest area again.

The shots were fired about 9:30 Tuesday night at the rest area along I-65 in Simpson County.

Kentucky State Police say 39-year old James Roames of Hendersonville, Tennessee, walked up to a parked car, pulled out a gun and shot the driver, 40-year-old Jamie Plymel of Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Witnesses said Roames then turned the gun on himself.

"Definitely didn't expect that when I rolled in here. It definitely makes you think twice about going to rest areas," said one traveler, Joseph Conley, when he heard what happened.

"I don't want to stop at a rest area again -- ever," said Chris Steward, another man driving through Kentucky.

Shortly after the shooting, both men died at the hospital.

Wednesday afternoon the tragedy had those passing through on edge.

"I've just thought all the times I've been sitting in rest areas with my children, and we've pulled over and went to sleep with the car running," Steward said.

"That's a little strange on my part. That's a rarity anymore to have that happen in a rest area," Sharon Hodge said.

That rarity is why officials say travelers don't need to worry.

"I can't think back in the over 11 years that I've had with the agency that we've had any kind of incident like this," said Tpr. Jonathan Biven, Kentucky State Police Post 3.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials said maintenance workers are on site 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

They keep all 24 of the state's rest areas well-lit.

"Our rest areas here in the Commonwealth are very safe. People just need to be vigilant about their surroundings and just always be on guard," Biven said.

While the motive remains a mystery, police say it doesn't appear the two men knew each other.

The investigation continues.

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