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Hero Down: Kentucky DOC Correctional Sgt. Jeffrey Barrett Killed In 3-Vehicle Crash

Lyon County, KY – Kentucky State Department of Corrections (DOC) Correctional Sergeant Jeffrey Barrett was killed in a three-vehicle crash as he was riding his motorcycle home after his shift on June 12.

The fatal collision occurred as Correctional Sgt. Barrett, 27, was traveling home from work at the Kentucky State Penitentiary (KSP), Lyon County Sheriff Brent White told The Times Leader.

He was riding northbound on Kentucky 93 on his 2005 Harley Davidson when the driver of a southbound 2017 Toyota Corolla attempted to turn left in front of him, the Kentucky State Police (KSP) said in a press release.

Correctional Sgt. Barrett was unable to stop and collided with the Corolla, which then crashed into an unoccupied 2015 Toyota pickup parked nearby.

The driver of the Corolla, 27-year-old Mark Driver, was uninjured in the crash, according to the KSP.

Driver’s passengers also did not suffer any injuries.

The driver of the Toyota pickup, 35-year-old Jeremiah “J.P.” Wallace, tried to render aid to Correctional Sgt. Barrett, but his injuries were too extreme and he passed away at the scene, The Times Leader reported.

In addition to his work with the DOC, Correctional Sgt. Barrett also served as a sergeant in the National Guard, according to his obituary.

Sheriff White said that the young sergeant just returned from a military deployment in May, The Times Leader reported.

He was promoted to the rank of correctional sergeant with the DOC on May 1, the KSP said in a Facebook post at the time.

Garyth Shawn Thompson said in a Facebook post that he had “the utmost respect” for Correctional Sgt. Barrett during the time they worked together.

“I don’t ever recall anyone saying anything bad about him,” Thompson wrote. “He was a easy going, laid back guy that everyone liked. He knew how to treat people right – he was a level headed, fair person that was very approachable to both staff and inmates. Barrett was as professional as anyone I have ever worked with.”

He noted that Correctional Sgt. Barrett was also a longstanding member of the Correctional Emergency Response Team at the maximum-security prison.

“You can always count on Barrett to be leading the way to quell the disturbance,” Thompson said. “He was a brave soul with a heart of gold that would always have your back.”

He said that Correctional Sgt. Barrett tackled the responsibilities associated with his promotion head-on, and that he was doing an “excellent job” handling the “learning curve” of his new role.

“I was excited to see how far he would go in his career because he was performing like an all-star,” Thompson wrote. “I personally felt that as I am ending my career, people like Barrett would keep ‘The Castle’ operating at a high level.”

“His family, friends, MP unit and coworkers at Kentucky State Penitentiary definitely need your thoughts and prayers due to losing the fine, upstanding person that Jeffery Barrett was,” he added.

Correctional Sgt. Barrett leaves behind his wife, Kelly, as well as his parents, siblings, grandfather, and many friends and extended family members, according to his obituary.

He was laid to rest on June 17.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Kentucky State Department of Corrections Correctional Sergeant Jeffrey Barrett, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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