UK student killed in car crash, 4 injured



About a year ago, 21-year-old architecture junior Kiara Hinkle decided to change the way she was living and become a Christian. On Sunday, Hinkle was traveling to a church worship service with a group of friends when her car went out of control, and she was killed.

Gregory Campbell, president of the Lexington Campus Disciples, said Hinkle came to the organization when she realized she was not living her life according to God.

“She decided to change,” Campbell said. “The Bible teaches us how to be as a Christian … she just led an awesome, righteous life after she decided to come to Christ.”

Around 9 a.m., Hinkle, of Louisville, was traveling westbound on I-64 with UK engineering sophomore Jason W. Turner of Florence, 20-year-old Nikki M. Berry, 23-year-old Natya A. Stafford and 19-year-old Aubrey Barton, when her car went out of control and flipped several times, according to a Kentucky State Police news release.

The Franklin County Coroner pronounced Hinkle dead at the scene. Turner was injured and taken to UK Hospital, and Berry, Stafford and Barton were taken to the Frankfort Regional Medical Center.

Campbell said others could learn and be inspired from the way Hinkle lived her life.

“She’s very giving … selfless, and her humility was just amazing,” Campbell said.

Campbell said one memory he will not forget of Hinkle was one when she cheered him up during a rough time.

“She said, ‘when we hope, God says ‘no,’ but when we pray, God says ‘yay,’” Campbell said. “Just the way she said it, I’ll never forget it. It was comical but it’s just so true.”

Campbell said Barton and Berry had been released from the hospital, and Stafford and Turner were still in the hospital as of early Monday afternoon.

Campbell said Turner was originally in critical condition but was now stable, and he was awake and able to squeeze his arm Sunday.

Mike Runyon, a family group leader at the Lexington Church, said Hinkle had a gentle, quiet spirit.

“ … you could tell from her maneurisms she cared a lot,” Runyon said.

Runyon said she sang with a women’s choir group on occasion, which took her out of her comfort zone.

“Just anytime you would talk to Kiara or ask her to do something that maybe was a little bit out of her comfort zone, she would just give you a real big smile,” Runyon said. “ … her eyes, they glistened quite a bit.”

Runyon did not know of official arrangements for Hinkle made as of Monday afternoon. Campbell said the Lexington Campus Disciples were planning an on-campus prayer service by the William T. Young Library around 7 p.m. on Thursday.