Owensville Police Chief dies in crash

January 2nd, 2009    Author: Marsha Mundy    Filed Under: News

Residents in the Village of Owensville are dealing with the loss of their police chief of 17 years. Chief Paul Sturgill, 55, was killed Tuesday, Dec. 23, as a result of a crash at the interchange of I-75 and I-64 in Lexington, Ky.

Sturgill was returning home from Tennessee where he had picked up his mother, Alma Sturgill, to spend the holidays with his family.

“Most of the people in the village are in a state of shock over the chief’s death,” said Sgt. D. Bay. “It is a normal reaction any time there is a tragedy like this. It’s hard to believe it happened.”

Mourners wait to enter St. Louis Church in Owensville to pay their final respects to Chief Sturgill.
According to the police report, Sturgill's vehicle skidded into a concrete barrier around 3 p.m. on the icy interstate. As he exited the vehicle to check the damage to his truck, his vehicle was struck by a sport utility vehicle driven by Steven Fitchelman, of Kennesaw, Ga. Several other vehicles were also involved in the crash.

Sturgill was transported to University of Kentucky hospital where he died as a result of his injuries. His mother was also transported to the hospital to check for injuries. According to authorities, she was released from the hospital later that day with only minor injuries. Fitchelman was also injured in the crash.

Freezing rain and sleet iced over the roadways across Kentucky and Ohio on Tuesday, Dec. 23 resulting in four deaths in Kentucky and snarling holiday traffic.

No charges have been filed in the crash and it remains under investigation.

Sturgill was not only the police chief in Owensville, but also served as a part time officer with the Williamsburg Police Department.

A funeral procession which included law enforcement and fire officials from around the county left E.C. Nurre Funeral Home in Amelia and proceeded down state route 32 to St. Louis Church, in Owensville Tuesday, Dec. 30.

After a private service for family members, the doors to the church were opened and a large number of residents of the community paid their last respects to the chief and his family.

Father Gerard Hiland was the celebrant for the memorial service and shared his experiences with Chief Sturgill not only as a resident of the village, but also as his pastor and friend. Several family, friends and co-workers of Chief Sturgill shared their memories of him.

An honor guard made up of officers with the Union Township Police Department conducted a flag folding ceremony and the flag was presented to his wife, Renalda Sturgill.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Chief Sturgill was honored with a last call on his police radio signaling the end of his watch over the Village of Owensville. The honor guard accompanied Sgt. Bay as he carried Chief Sturgill's ashes from the church and Amazing Grace was played on the bagpipes to end the service.

Chief Sturgill is survived by his wife, Renelda Sturgill; one daughter, Paula Valente, three grandchildren, Kyle, Kirstie and Raven; his mother, Alma Sturgill and two brothers, Melvin and Perry Sturgill.
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