A Johnson County man has been charged with murder for allegedly hitting and killing a motorcyclist while fleeing from police in a stolen car on Friday.
Joshua A. Fitzpatrick, 34, of Paintsville, was lodged in the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center following his arrest. In addition to murder, he was charged with first-degree fleeing or evading police, driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license, Kentucky State Police at Ashland said.
Killed was Johnny K. Maynard Jr., 40, of Catlettsburg. He was pronounced about 8:40 p.m. at Three Rivers Medical Center by Lawrence County Assistant Coroner Raymond Byrd.
The KSP said it received a report about 6:30 p.m. of a 2001 Toyota Camry traveling northbound on U.S. 23 in Lawrence County in a reckless manner. Trooper Devan Cleaver located the vehicle and saw the driver commit violations. He activated his lights and siren and attempted to pull the car over, but the vehicle took off at a high rate of speed in an attempt to elude the trooper.
The driver of the Toyota turned onto Ky. 644 with Cleaver still in pursuit. As the vehicle passed the junction of Ky. 644 and B Street, Fitzpatrick lost control and the car veered into the westbound lane of Ky. 644, into the path of Maynard’s motorcycle. Upon impact, Maynard was thrown from the bike and received several life-threatening injuries, the KSP said.
The KSP said it later learned Fitzpatrick had been involved in a domestic dispute in Paintsville earlier on Friday and had fled the scene in the Toyota, which had been reported stolen.
The KSP was assisted in its investigation of the incident by Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement, the Louisa police and fire departments, NetCare Ambulance Service and the Lawrence County Coroner’s Office.
The case remains under investigation by KSP Detective Ben Cramer.
KENNETH HART can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2654.