Western Kentucky University announced the head coach of the men’s golf team has died in a tragic accident. Phillip Hatchett, age 55, of Russellville, Kentucky, was struck by a car while riding his bicycle along U.S. 68 West with a group of cyclists Sunday morning. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The vehicle was reportedly driven by 27-year-old Robert Stokes of Elkton, Kentucky, who, according to the Logan County Sheriff’s Department, said he approached six bicyclists in the emergency lane and before he could check his mirrors and move into the left lane, his car had struck Hatchett’s bicycle.
According to the police report, visible tire marks from the bicycle indicate it was on the white fog line at the time of the crash.
A Twitter post from the WKU athletic department said, “It is with great sadness we share news of the passing of WKU Head Men’s Golf Coach Phillip Hatchett. More than a coach, he was a beloved member of our #WKU family.”
Hatchett was a member of the WKU Class of 1985. A four-year letterman on the golf team while at WKU, he spent eight seasons as the program’s head coach. And through the Phillip Hatchett Junior Golf Camp, which he established in 2008, he had mentored more than 200 young golf aficionados.
Western Kentucky Director of Athletics Todd Stewart released a statement on the death of the coach. “Our hearts are broken following the tragic passing of Phillip Hatchett. He was an outstanding individual in every respect, a kind soul liked and respected by all and someone who cared deeply for his players whom he considered family. Phillip exhibited pure class in everything he did. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Beth, and the entire Hatchett family.”
Three other cyclists were injured in the crash. They are identified as Morris Lynn Kisselbaugh, age 62; Phillip Christmas, age 28; and Patrick Christmas, age 26. All three are Russellville residents. The other two cyclists were uninjured. An investigation is ongoing.