Glasgow senior dies in car wreck

Jessica Sasseen

The road to graduation ended for a Western student during an early Sunday morning car accident.

Glasgow senior Lacey McCandless, 21, was pronounced dead after she crashed her white Pontiac Sunfire into a tree along the left shoulder of U.S. Highway 68/80, according to a Warren County Sheriff’s Office press release.

The release said that McCandless, who was not wearing a seat belt, crossed the median of the highway about two miles north of Smiths Grove.

Warren County Coroner Dwayne Lawrence said McCandless died of massive head and chest trauma at 3:42 a.m.

“It appears that she may have fallen asleep, leaving the roadway and striking a tree,” Lawrence said.

After graduating from Barren County High School in 1999, McCandless started college at the University of Kentucky but transferred to Western after her freshman year to study biology.

McCandless was scheduled to graduate in the spring of 2004.

Her father, Ronnie, said she would have been the first member from his side of the family to have a college education. He said he was “exceptionally proud of her.”

To concentrate on her schoolwork, McCandless only worked on the weekends at Goody’s in Glasgow, said Deana Poynter, a manager at the store.

“All she really ever talked about was going to school and graduating,” Poynter said.

Pat McCandless said her daughter wanted to go to dental or medical school. She said her daughter’s drive to work in the medical profession could have been due to her diagnosis with juvenile diabetes at the age of 12.

McCandless’s boyfriend, Tyler Cherry, said she would have made a great doctor.

“She just wanted to help people,” Cherry said. “She wanted to be in medicine. You can’t find people like that. She was one of a kind.”

Although she was focused on school, people who knew McCandless said she was always a pleasant person.

“She will be missed,” Poynter said. “She was the sweetest person I have ever met. She was quiet. She didn’t talk a lot, but if you approached her, she was the nicest person you’d ever met. And she had the prettiest smile.”

It was her smile Cherry said he fell in love with. They had been together five years this past Valentine’s Day.

“She had a smile that warmed your heart, and that’s what I first noticed about her,” Cherry said. “I’ll really miss just the simple times. Like, we used to go out walking at Barren River Lake. We would just walk and talk, talk about everything. That’s what I’ll miss the most.

“She had the biggest heart I ever knew.”

Visitation was held last night at the Hatcher and Sadler Funeral Home in Glasgow. The funeral will be at 3 p.m. today. McCandless will be buried at Happy Valley Memorial Gardens in Glasgow.

Reach Jessica Sasseen at [email protected]