LOUISA — A Paintsville man who was allegedly fleeing from police has been charged with murder, after crashing into and killing a motorcyclist during the chase.
Joshua Fitzpatrick, 34, of Paintsville, is being held in the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center, in Paintsville, following the incident. He is charged with murder, first-degree fleeing and evading police, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and driving on a suspended license.
According to Kentucky State Police, officers received a report of an erratic driver heading north on U.S. 23 in Lawrence County at 6:28 p.m., Friday. Trooper Devan Cleaver spotted the vehicle and, according to a police report, observed it making numerous traffic violations, leading him to turn on his emergency lights in an attempt to pull over the driver. Instead, the tan 2001 Toyota Camry accelerated in an apparent attempt to elude capture.
The driver continued along U.S. 23 and Route 2565, police said, then turned onto Route 644, travelling east at a high rate of speed. As the vehicle approached the intersection of Route 644 and B Street, Fitzpatrick lost control of the car and veered into the path of a motorcycle driven by Johnny K. Maynard, 40, of Catlettsburg.
Maynard was thrown from his bike and sustained several life-threatening injuries. He was taken to Three Rivers Medical Center, where he died at 8:40 p.m.
Police later discovered that Fitzpatrick had been involved in a domestic dispute in Paintsville earlier that day, and had fled the scene of that incident after allegedly stealing the car he was later found driving.
KSP was assisted at the scene by Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement, Louisa Police Department, Louisa Fire Department, Net Care Ambulance Service and the Lawrence County Coroner’s Office.
The case remains under investigation by Det. Ben Cramer.