A 42-year-old female died as a result of injuries sustained in a three-vehicle collision at U.S. 431 and Hill Bridge Road early Monday morning that forced the closure of U.S. 431 in both directions.

Dana Joyce Hayden, 42, of the 8400 block of Kentucky 405, was killed in the collision.

The Daviess County Sheriff's office, Owensboro Police Department, Utica Fire Department, Daviess County Fire Department and American Medical Response (AMR) Inc. responded to the collision, which occurred at 5:23 a.m. Monday.

According to the Daviess County Sheriff's Department, Joseph Howard, 46, the driver of a 2012 Nissan Altima, was traveling southbound on U.S. 431 with passenger Nicholas Moorman, 35, both of Owensboro, when Hayden, driving a 2014 Chevrolet Cruze, pulled out of Hill Bridge Road into the path of Howard's vehicle.

After colliding, Howard's vehicle went through a guardrail and came to rest in a ditch on the west side of the roadway, and Hayden's vehicle came to rest sideways in the southbound lane. Shortly after that collision, a 2015 Hyundai Elantra driven by James Forsythe, 32, who was also traveling southbound, struck Hayden's vehicle, also in the passenger side.

Hayden was transported by AMR to Owensboro Health Regional Hospital and was later pronounced dead. Howard, Moorman and Forsythe were transported to OHRH with non-life-threatening injuries.

Hayden, a district manager in the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer circulation department, was a valued member of the publication's family, said Barry Carden, circulation and production manager.

"This morning’s accident was just tragic," Carden said Monday. "Dana always worked hard and was prompt to offer others assistance. We just have no words to describe this loss."

Hayden's death came as a shock to the Messenger-Inquirer family, said Publisher Mike Weafer.

“We are overcome with grief by the tragic loss of Dana. She will be missed, and our thoughts and prayers are with her family," he said.

According to reports, none of the people involved in the collision were wearing seat belts. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor.

Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, jmulliken@messenger-inquirer.com

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