Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

September 19, 2006

Actor injured in 4-car chain-reaction wreck

‘Sonny’ Landham known for roles in 1980s movies

ASHLAND — A local actor and former gubernatorial candidate was injured Monday morning when the vehicle he was driving slammed into the rear of parked taxi, setting off a chain reaction.

William “Sonny” Landham, 65, of Ashland, was traveling eastbound on Greenup Avenue about 11:35 a.m. when he lost control of his rented 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser, according to the Ashland Police Department.

Landham’s vehicle struck the rear of Ford Crown Victoria taxi that was parked in front of the Ashland Yellow Cab station at 2300 Greenup. The driver of the cab, Danny Bryan, 51, of Ashland, was sitting in the vehicle at the time of the collision.

The impact knocked the cab into a car that was parked in front of it, an older-model Chevrolet Monte Carlo. That vehicle was, in turn, pushed into another taxi, a Pontiac Bonneville, that was parked in front of it.

The PT Cruiser, which was owned by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and the Crown Victoria cab both were heavily damaged. The PT Cruiser’s driver’s-side airbag was deployed, but it appeared that Landham’s head had still struck the vehicle’s windshield.

Landham was not wearing a seat belt, police said. Driver inattention was cited as a factor in the accident, APD Patrol Capt. Todd Kelley said.

Bryan and Landham both were taken to King’s Daughters Medical Center. Bryan was released after treatment, while Landham was still being assessed in the hospital’s emergency department Tuesday evening, KDMC spokesman Tom Dearing said.

Landham, who moved to Ashland following a bitter and protracted legal battle with his former wife and the federal government, has appeared in such films as “48 Hours,” “Predator” and “Lock-Up,” acting opposite such stars as Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy and Sylvester Stallone.

He ran for governor of Kentucky on the Republican ticket in 2003, hoping to repeat the political success of his “Predator” castmates Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura, who won governor’s races in California and Minnesota, respectively.

After failing to gain the GOP nomination for governor, Landham entered the race briefly as an independent, but ultimately withdrew and endorsed the Republican slate.

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