Police: Car Was Going 5 MPH When It Dislodged Concrete Panel That Killed Pregnant Woman

Published: Aug. 16, 2006 at 3:27 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2006 at 1:44 PM EDT
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(LEXINGTON, Ky.) -- A truck was driving less than 5 miles an hour when it dislodged a concrete panel that killed a woman in May, Lexington police said.

Lexington police on Tuesday released the police investigation into the May 16 accident that killed Stephanie Hufnagel, 22, as she walked along a sidewalk near a parking garage. The 5,000-pound slab fell on Hufnagel, killing her and her unborn baby. She was eight months pregnant.

Police said the driver of the truck, Devona Jones, 29, of Nicholasville, was not at fault and will not face criminal charges.

Jones told police that she put her truck in reverse to make sure it was lined up in a parking spot, but the vehicle went forward, striking the wall and jarring loose the panel.

The police investigation does not explain why Jones' truck went forward or why the panel fell when it was struck.

City officials said the report speaks for itself and declined further comment.

Under an emergency condemnation order issued earlier this month, the city ordered the garage's owners to stop using a portion of the Chase Bank parking garage downtown. It also must barricade an entrance, pending an engineer's approval of repairs.

The owner of the garage, TIC Properties obtained a permit Tuesday to repair the panel. Work began on the garage late Tuesday afternoon.

TIC President Barry Gruebbel said in a statement issued Tuesday that the company was reviewing the police report.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)