Special Olympics athlete killed in Kentucky crash
VERSAILLES, Ky. (WKYT) - Special Olympics Kentucky said one of their athletes was killed in a car crash Sunday in Woodford County.
Versailles police said 40-year-old Eric Klette was pronounced dead at the scene of a three-vehicle collision on U.S. 62 near Aiken Road.
Bill Chard, one of Eric’s coaches, met him 15 years ago.
“He’s never met a stranger so the first time we were together, you would’ve thought we knew each other for 30 years,” Chard said.
He coached Eric to four state championships with his son’s softball team. He said Eric gave it his all every time out on the field.
“When he was in, if you were his opponent you better be ready, because he was bringing it,” Chard said.
Chard said the three-car collision, which caused Eric’s death, will leave a huge role in the community of athletes.
“I can’t think of anybody in the Special Olympics world he didn’t have an impact on,” Chard said.
Special Olympics Kentucky said that Eric had come to Versailles not to compete in the tournament, but to support his team as a volunteer assistant coach, and that didn’t surprise Chard in the slightest.
“Whatever was in season, he was there whether he was a participant or not,” Chard said.
While Chard loved Eric’s competitive spirit, he will miss Eric’s loyal friendship even more.
A spokesperson with Special Olympics Kentucky released this statement:
All of us in the Special Olympics Kentucky family are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of athlete Eric Klette yesterday in an auto accident as he returned home from a soccer tournament in Versailles. Eric was not competing in the tournament, but had travelled to support his team as a volunteer assistant coach. Our thoughts and prayers are with Eric’s family and all of the coaches and athletes who knew and loved him.
Versailles police said a second driver in the incident was taken to UK Hospital to be treated for injuries, and that the investigation is ongoing.
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