Attendance was heavy at what would have been the annual running of the Lake Cumberland Poker Run, but the death of one of the drivers stopped the action just as it was beginning. Kevin Sellers and his passenger Craig Stumpf were thrown from the boat, a 36-foot Skater when it tumbled repeatedly just minutes after the start of the event. “It was just one of those things — there was no way he could have recovered control,” said Kentucky Fish & Wildlife Lt. Tony Wright. “The lake was chopped up pretty good with the front that had passed earlier and all the boat traffic. He was going a little to fast for the size of boat he was in.” All in all, the investigating officer said, that conditions, speed and driver error could be faulted for the tragedy. Wright said that Sellers’ trim on the craft may have been a little too light, allowing the bow to be positioned too high. He indicated the boat seemed to be unstable before hitting the wave that began it rolling and pitching violently and then it barrel rolled, ejecting Sellers and Stumpf. Contrary to earlier reports there were no spectators in the immediate area, and the boat did not change course to avoid anyone. Wright and others at the scene estimated the boat’s speed at 130 to even 140 miles per hour. Thought there were several bystanders at the scene in moments, as well as Wright and other Ky F&W officers, the efforts to revive Sellers proved fruitless and the 47-year-old was declared dead at the Russell County Hospital. Stumpf, who like his friend is from the Indianapolis area, faired better and though early reports listed several severe injuries later reports were that though he suffered serious bruising there were no broken bones or spinal injuries. He was released from the hospital Sunday, Wright said.
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
404 Monument Square
Jamestown KY 42629