Teens killed by suspect in Hardin Co. police chase crash

Two teens killed in Hardin Co. police chase crash

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - Two people are dead after a car fleeing police in Hardin County was involved in a wreck on Saturday night.

A release from Kentucky State Police confirms the call came in at 8:37 p.m. of a two-vehicle wreck at US 31-W and Battle Training Road.

Initial investigation from KSP found that Shawn Welsh, 36, and Laura Neville, 36, both of West Virginia, were in a car being pursued by the Meade County Sheriff’s Office, Vine Grove Police and Radcliff Police.

Shawn Welsh
Shawn Welsh (Meade County Detention Center)

While being pursued by police, Welsh attempted to go through the intersection at US 31 and KY 434 in Hardin County, when he hit a 2000 Honda Accord. The driver of the Accord, Jacob Barber, 18, was pronounced dead at the scene. A 17-year-old passenger in Barber’s car, Katarina Peeters, was also pronounced dead at the scene.

Two juvenile passengers in Barber’s car were taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Their conditions are unknown at this time.

Welsh and Neville were both transported to area hospitals, treated and later released to police custody.

Jacob Barber
Jacob Barber (Family photo)
Katarina Peeters
Katarina Peeters (Family photo)

Welsh is being housed at the Meade County Detention Center. Police have not said what charges Welsh is facing.

Neville was booked into the Hardin County Detetion Center and is charged with possession of methamphetamine and on a fugitive warrant. Neville appeared in court Monday. Neville will be back in court in November and will have to decide if she wants an extradition hearing.

Hardin County Schools superintendent Teresa Morgan released the following statement about Barber and Peeters on Monday:

“We are saddened about the loss of two members of the John Hardin High School family. Jacob Barber and senior Katarina Peeters passed away over the weekend in an automobile accident. Jacob had just graduated from Hardin County High School. Katarina was a wonderful student that enjoyed her time in and out of the classroom. She was truly loved by family and friends. She was also a member of the school’s archery team. She had lots of potential and had a successful life in front of her.

Jacob was a leader and a young man that had a full and vibrant life ahead of him as well. He also was a wonderful student and was admired by his peers, his family, teachers and school staff. The burden that these families now bear is overwhelming. Their worlds have been shaken to the core by the pain of this unspeakable tragedy. We encourage our community and the rest of the HCS family to keep these families in their thoughts and deepest concerns.

John Hardin High School principal Mark Wells constantly reiterates the importance of family with his students. He also reminds them often that even though they all have different last names, they are family. I am confident that the Bulldog family and that of Hardin County High will ban together and hold tight in their unbreakable bonds of love, courage and determination. I ask our Hardin County community to keep these students and staffs close to its heart. Our district motto this year is #HCSStrongerTogether. We will all need each other to begin the healing process and nurture it through to completion. Our HCS family has a longstanding tradition of taking care of each other and providing love and support, especially in times like these. Hardin County Schools has additional counselors available for students and staff for as long as they are needed.

We also know that two other John Hardin students were injured in the accident. We continue to think about them, their families and friends as they walk the road of recovery.

All of these families will have our continued support. Family takes care of each other and the HCS family will continue to share its love and support.”

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