FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A Massive January 6 Highway Pileup Near Mount Sterling, Kentucky?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A photo shared on Facebook over 400 times purportedly shows a highway pileup close to Mount Sterling, Kentucky on Jan. 6.

Verdict: Misleading

While there was a pileup near Mount Sterling, Kentucky last week, the photo featured in the post was actually taken in Pennsylvania in 2013.

Fact Check:

A snowstorm hit parts of the Ohio Valley on Jan. 6  leaving up to a foot of snow in parts of central Kentucky, according to National Weather Service (NWS) data. The heavy snow caused dozens of vehicles to be involved in a pileup on Interstate 64 outside of Mount Sterling, Kentucky, CBS News reported.

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a scene from the pileup in which dozens of cars and several semi-trucks can be seen haphazardly clustered together on a snow-covered highway. “Mount Sterling, Kentucky 1-6-22 4 PM,” reads the post’s caption. (RELATED: Does This Image Show The Great Sphinx Covered In Snow In Egypt?)

In reality, Check Your Fact found through a reverse image search that the photo predates the recent large-scale wreck in Kentucky by several years. The Associated Press published the same photo in December 2013 explaining that it showed a pileup on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Reading, Pennsylvania. “Vehicles are piled up at mile marker 286 on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, a mile outside Reading, Pa., on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013,” reads part of the image’s caption.

“I have checked with our engineering personnel that is responsible for Montgomery County,” Kentucky Highway District 7 Public Information Officer Natasha Lacy told Check Your Fact in an email. “To their knowledge, this photo is not valid for the incident that occurred in Mt. Sterling on Thursday, January 6.”

Real images of the Jan. 6 pileup close to Mount Sterling were posted by Kentucky CBS affiliate WKYT. It prompted nine miles of Interstate 64 to be shut down, the news station reported.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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