Chamber director killed in crash
A director with the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County died this weekend from injuries sustained in a two-vehicle crash late Saturday night, and the driver of the other vehicle, who police say was driving under the influence, was arrested.
Kevin Hammersmith, 52, of Floyds Knobs died at Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services in New Albany, after his northbound 2003 Infiniti was hit nearly head-on by a Toyota driven by Wesley S. Bradshaw, 31, of Danville, Ky., just after 11:30 p.m. Saturday on S.R. 111 south of Budd Road.
Hammersmith, who was the director of government and community relations for Duke Energy in Southern Indiana, was elected to the Chamber’s board of directors in December 2009 and began his term in January 2010.
‘His commitment to his community and the greater Southern Indiana Region was unparalleled and evident in the numerous boards he served on and the various organizations and projects he supported both personally and professionally,’ Lisa Long, president of the Harrison County Chamber, said. ‘He was a wealth of knowledge, ingenuity and resources due to the vastness of his personal and professional experiences.
‘He had a perpetual smile and was always full of wit and humor,’ she continued. ‘What always struck me was his pride and love for his family and his willingness to share that with those around him. Southern Indiana has truly lost a good friend in Kevin.’
Hammersmith had been employed by Duke Energy and its predecessors since 1982. Also, he was a member of the 2012 Leadership Louisville class and immediate past chairman of One Southern Indiana.
‘I worked closely with Kevin when I worked at Duke Energy and was lucky to have him as my neighbor,’ Jon O’Bannon, publisher of this newspaper said. ‘He was a positive influence in both my professional and personal life. Duke Energy and our community has lost a great one.’
On Saturday night, Hammersmith had left Horseshoe Southern Indiana after attending the Indiana University Southeast Chancellor’s Medallion Dinner.
Upon arrival of emergency personnel at the crash scene, it was evident that Hammersmith had sustained very serious injuries and the Floyd County Prosecutor’s Office Combined Accident Reconstruction Team was called to the scene to assist with the investigation. CART was formed in July 2007 by Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson to investigate all fatality crashes and crashes with serious bodily injury which may result in criminal charges. CART members have additional training in areas such as crash reconstruction and scene diagramming, and the team is comprised of members of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department, New Albany Police Department and the Indiana State Police.
Police said a passenger in the Infiniti, whom they did not identify, was also taken to Floyd Memorial Hospital and treated for minor injuries. Bradshaw refused any medical treatment, police said.
As a result of the investigation, Bradshaw was placed under arrest for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (controlled substance) causing death and remanded to the Floyd County Jail. As is standard in all fatality crashes, toxicology results on the deceased driver are pending.
Also assisting at the scene were members of the Floyd County Sheriff’s De-partment, Indiana State Police, New Chapel Fire Department, Yellow EMS and Floyd County Coroner.
Hammersmith’s funeral will be today (Wednesday) at 2 p.m. at the Market Street Chapel of Seabrook Dieckmann & Naville Funeral Homes in New Albany.