Men indicted for events leading up to fatal wreck

Ralph B. DavisManaging Editor

July 31, 2012

PRESTONSBURG — Two men involved in a wreck that killed a Breathitt County woman back in May have been indicted on a host of charges, though not for the wreck itself.

James E. Mace, 22, of Pikeville, and Jonathan Crider, 39, of Auxier, were among those indicted when a Floyd County grand jury returned indictments last month.

Mace and Crider were allegedly stripping copper from stolen telephone lines at an abandoned strip mine, May 15, when they were spotted by a Floyd County sheriff’s deputy.

At the time, Sheriff John K Blackburn said the deputy began pursuing the two men, who fled in a 2000 Chevrolet Malibu, but lost them before reaching the main road. Meanwhile, the two men continued to flee in their vehicle, reportedly driven by Mace. They were driving along Route 114 at a high rate, passing vehicles, when they ran head-on into a 2009 Dodge Caliber driven by Brenda Montgomery, of Jackson.

Montgomery later died at Highlands Regional Medical Center. A passenger in her car, Elsie Oakley, was airlifted to Cabell Huntington Hospital for treatment.

Mace and Crider now face charges for the events leading up to the wreck. Both men face charges for receiving stolen property for being in possession of AT&T phone cable, second-degree criminal trespass for being on property belonging to Blackhawk Mining, and tampering with physical evidence.

Mace, as the driver, also faces a count of first-degree fleeing or evading police and two counts first-degree wanton endangerment .

The trespass charge is a Class B misdemeanor. The remaining charges against the two men are Class D felonies, each punishable by up to five years in prison.