Woman who took keys from accused impaired driver speaks out

BROWNSVILLE, Ky. – The Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office and local parents are thanking a Good Samaritan who got an impaired driver out of a car after almost hitting a school bus.

Kara Atwood was driving down Veterans Memorial Parkway in Edmonson County when she noticed a driver who she said was crossing the center line and driving very poorly.

Atwood said, after passing her vehicle, the orange Chevy Camaro almost hit a school bus full of children as it made a stop where a father was with his son getting ready to board the bus.

“She wanted to put the kid’s life in front of her own, so I said she was a very brave person and I’m really grateful for it,” said Robert Summers, the child’s father.

Once stopped, Atwood yelled for the father to have the bus driver stay stopped to protect the young lives inside.

Atwood talked the driver of the Camaro out of the car. Atwood then got into that car, moved it to the side of the road and took the keys out of the ignition.

“After I had her keys, I said to her, ‘do you realize how bad you were driving and how many people you almost hit,’” Atwood said.

Atwood said divine intervention helped her prevent a tragedy.

“God took care of everyone yesterday,” she said.

When deputies arrived at the scene, the Camaro’s driver, Denise Barnes was out of the vehicle.

Barnes was placed in a deputy’s cruiser where she attempted to hide suspected Xanax pills in the backseat.

Deputies said they found what they suspected to be gabapentin, tramadol, Valium and Xanax inside the Camaro. They said they also found bits of, what appeared to be, chewed up pills in Barnes’ mouth.

Field sobriety tests were performed, and Barnes was arrested and lodged in the Hart County Jail. She is charged with operating a motor vehicle under the Influence of drugs or alcohol second offense, third-degree possession of a controlled substance, driving on a DUI suspended license first offense, tampering with physical evidence, first-degree wanton endangerment, possession of a controlled substance not in proper container first offense.