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Aunt and 11-year-old nephew killed in crash

Posted at 8:42 PM, Jun 30, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Eddie Vanek of North Liberty, Indiana says his 11-year-old son Brody was a beautiful child who loved life. Vanek says his sister, Donna had a strong work ethic and loved all her nieces and nephews greatly. Brody was in Lexington visiting his aunt and uncle for the summer, as he had in past years when the unthinkable happened.

Scott County Sheriff's deputies say Brody and his aunt, 48-year old Donna Vanek, were slowed down in traffic Monday afternoon around 3:30 on eastbound I-64 due to another wreck before a box truck slammed into their vehicle and killed them instantly.

"We don't know the speed just yet, the damage to the vehicle that he hit was remarkable to the point that prior to the fire department even being there to use jaws of life, the vehicle had been shredded into pieces," said Sgt. Eddie Hart of the Scott County Sheriff's Department.

Officials charged 29-year-old Evan Barnett of Lexington with two counts of 2nd-degree manslaughter. Deputies say he made statements after the wreck that he had taken controlled substances and was handling his cell phone prior to the crash.

Deputies say Barnett was driving on a suspended license until September of 2020. A check of his history showed two citations for speeding. One in 2018 that states he was driving 24 miles per hour over the limit and another ticket from this past January when he was cited for driving 20 miles per hour over the limit on New Circle Road in Lexington.

In court Tuesday afternoon, Barnett waived formal arraignment and entered a not guilty plea. The judge left his bond at $50,000 and set a date for a preliminary hearing.

Brody Vanek would have been a 6th grader at North Liberty Elementary in Indiana.