Murder Charges Filed following Fatal Traffic Crash

Time: 3:07 p.m.
Date: Monday, Jan. 23, 2017
Location: Paducah Police Department, 1400 Broadway
Suspect: Robert C. Thomas, 24, of Alpha Drive, arrested on charges of murder and three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment

The driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal collision Thursday night on Paducah’s south side has been charged with murder.

Robert C. Thomas was arrested on charges of murder and three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment after an interview this afternoon at the police department.

The crash occurred at 6:53 p.m. Thursday. Witnesses told police that a 1998 Honda Accord driven by Honey R. Hastings, 53, of Husband Road, was in the right-turn lane of John Puryear Drive, about to turn right onto Irvin Cobb Drive. They said a 2007 Honda Odyssey driven by Thomas was headed east on Irvin Cobb Drive at a high rate of speed when it hit Hastings’ car broadside in the driver’s door.

Hastings was pronounced dead at the scene. Thomas and three passengers in his van – Andris L. Jackson, 22, of Old North Friendship Road; and children David C. Flores, 3, and Gracie L. Thomas, 1, both of Alpha Drive – were taken to Baptist Health Paducah. Robert Thomas and Jackson suffered reported incapacitating injuries. The children were checked for injuries and released.

The police department’s Collision Reconstruction Team and detectives responded to the scene. During the investigation, officers found suspected synthetic marijuana in Thomas’ vehicle. In the interview today with Det. Nathan Young, Thomas admitted smoking synthetic marijuana shortly before the wreck occurred.

Video obtained from the surveillance camera of a business on Irvin Cobb Drive shows a vehicle traveling east on Irvin Cobb Drive at a high rate of speed just seconds before the crash.

Prior to interviewing Thomas today, Young consulted with Commonwealth’s Attorney Dan Boaz. After his arrest, Thomas was booked into McCracken County Regional Jail.

The investigation is continuing. Anyone who witnessed the accident who has not already spoken with police is asked to call Det. Nathan Young at 270-444-8553.