Automobile crash leaves man dead

Published 11:25 am Monday, May 21, 2018

A single-vehicle collision on Friday resulted in the death of a Baxter man.

According to a press release, at approximately 1:46 p.m. on Friday, Kentucky State Police Post 10 in Harlan received a call about a single vehicle collision on U.S. 421. Kentucky State Police Trooper Andy Soltess responded to the collision on U.S.421 in Cranks. A preliminary investigation indicates Dr. Jake Cope, 69, of Baxter, was operating a 2017 Hyundai Tucson when he traveled off the right shoulder of the roadway and struck an earth embankment. Cope was transported to Harlan ARH by an ambulance and later succumbed to his injuries.

Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor into the collision. Cope was wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision.

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Trooper Andy Soltess is continuing the investigation.

Cope had worked in Cumberland at the Tri-City Medical Center for many years.

According to a WYMT report, family and friends said Cope was not only a doctor but also also a world traveler. They said the crash occurred 15 minutes from his home as he was returning from a trip to Ecuador. Cope’s family said he had planned to visit 100 countries as part of his bucket list, and had visited 95 so far. He planned to finish his bucket list by the end of the year, with the last five countries left to visit including Ireland, Great Britain, Iceland, Jordan and Israel.

Cope did not have any children and was not married but had many family members in the area.

His family says they found the gifts and trinkets he brought back for friends and family from his trip inside the vehicle, according to the report.