News and Tribune

October 30, 2012

Man faces 4 counts of reckless homicide in auto crash

Suspect arrested following fatal collision in Floyd County


NEW ALBANY — A Louisville man faces four counts of reckless homicide following a fatal vehicle collision on Ind. 111 late Sunday night near Horseshoe Southern Indiana.

Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson said Charles M. Barlow, 32, of East Burnett Avenue, was behind the wheel of a Yellow Cab taxi traveling in excess of 80 mph when he drove the vehicle off the road, overcorrected and struck an oncoming Cadillac moments before midnight.

The driver of the Cadillac, Thomas Stinson Jr., 60, of Bardstown Road in Louisville, and all three passengers in the Yellow Cab taxi were killed.

Those in taxi cab were Michael Roby, 31, Tara Hirsekorn, 39, and Laura Weigand (age not provided), all of Louisville.

Henderson said it is the intent of his office to hold Barlow responsible for the four people killed during the collision.

“I don’t like to refer to these [cases such as this] as accidents,” Henderson said. “This is four homicides. This is vehicular homicide. We have four people that are dead that shouldn’t be.”

Stinson was taken by air ambulance to University of Louisville Hospital and was pronounced dead shortly after 1 a.m. The occupants in the taxi cab never made it out of the vehicle that became engulfed in flames after the collision. Officials previously said the bodies of the taxicab passengers were burnt beyond recognition.

“This was a very horrific collision,” Floyd County Sheriff Darrell Mills said.

He continued that after the vehicles made impact, the cab spun around and crashed into a guardrail. Mills said the taxi was fully engulfed in flames when deputies arrived to the scene.

“There was no rescue that was allowable,” Mills said of the passengers in the cab.

Barlow and his passengers were “familiar with each other,” Henderson said. Barlow was operating the Yellow Cab while off-duty, officials previously remarked.

Barlow, the sole survivor, was taken from the wreck scene to U of L Hospital for injuries, and was later released, Mills said.

Floyd County Sheriff’s Maj. Jeff Topping said at the request of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals in Kentucky located Barlow at a Yellow Cab facility about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Topping said Barlow will go before a Jefferson County judge before he can be brought to Floyd County to face charges. Henderson said additional charges could be issued, pending the return of a toxicology report taken from Barlow’s blood after the wreck.

Henderson it could take several weeks for the toxicology results to be returned from the Indiana State Department of Toxicology.

Reckless homicide is a class C felony charge. If those charges stand, Barlow would face a maximum of 32 years in jail.