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Drunk driver sued by wife of Westport motorcyclist

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By Jacquelyn Stoess Hack

The family of a Westport man who died after a motorcycle collision on Ky. 53 has filed a civil suit against the drunk driver who caused the crash and two businesses he visited just hours before. 

Charley Klosterman, 65, died nine weeks after a head-on collision with a Chevy Malibu tossed him from his motorcycle onto the shoulder of Ky. 53. 

According to court documents, the driver of the Malibu, 23-year-old Nicholas W. Snoddy, was fleeing police and driving drunk when he hit Klosterman’s motorcycle.

Klosterman’s wife, Patty, has filed a civil suit in Oldham County on behalf of Charley’s estate alleging negligence by Snoddy, who also faces criminal charges in the case. 

Others named in the suit include Bradley and Ronald F. Brotzge, owners of the 2008 Chevy Malibu who loaned the vehicle to Snoddy; Rick and Cathy Dissell, owners of Blackstone Grille, a Prospect restaurant where Snoddy worked; and Joe W. and Carah Beth Clark, owners of Falling Rock Park, a local quarry now operating as a swimming hole where Snoddy allegedly spent part of his day before the crash. 

It is unclear when and where Snoddy had been drinking on the day of the crash. 

When Snoddy arrived to work his shift as a waiter at the Blackstone Grille, he was sent home for being intoxicated. 

According to the suit, Snoddy had a “known propensity to drive drunk.”

Klosterman seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

The criminal case against Snoddy is ongoing.

In September, an Oldham County grand jury indicted Snoddy on 10 counts, including murder, DUI wanton endangerment.

According to court documents, an Oldham County police officer witnessed Snoddy, 23, speeding on June 13. The officer attempted to stop him on U.S. 42 near La Grange.

Snoddy fled to Ky. 53, and the officer lost sight of his vehicle.

The officer called for additional officers to locate Snoddy, who reached speeds of more than 100 mph as he passed vehicles on Ky. 53.

Snoddy crashed head-on into Klosterman’s motorcycle near Old Sligo Road.

The impact of the crash tossed Klosterman from his motorcyle. 

He was wearing a helmet and landed in the grass.

Police officers who had been chasing Snoddy stopped to aid Klosterman, as did several other drivers and a woman who lived nearby. But Snoddy continued to flee.

Emergency crews took Klosterman to University Hospital in Louisville, where he spent several weeks fighting for his life. 

He suffered a multitude of severe injuries and doctors amputated a portion of his leg shortly after the crash.

His wife, Patty, created a website to update family and friends. In addition to the couple’s three children and four grandchildren, Charley had 14 brothers and sisters.

Patty chronicled Charley’s health as a rollercoaster of procedures, successes and setbacks. Nine weeks after his sunset motorcycle ride took a tragic turn, Klosterman died Aug. 18 at University Hospital. He was 65.

Snoddy’s attorney, Steve Romines, cited the website during Snoddy’s last court appearance. 

Romines told Judge Karen Conrad that he, Snoddy and Snoddy’s parents monitored Klosterman’s health via the website this summer.

When it became apparent that Klosterman might not recover from his injuries, Romines said he advised Snoddy to remain in Oldham County, rather than check-in to an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program out-of-state.

Snoddy’s blood-alcohol concentration registered as .21 – the legal limit in Kentucky is .08 – and he was driving on a suspended license as a result of a previous DUI arrest. 

He has been released from jail on a $150,000 full-cash bond and is working full-time at an apartment complex in Louisville.

His bond conditions prohibit driving, alcohol or illegal drug use and contact with victims or victims’ families. Snoddy is charged with two counts wanton endangerment on behalf of two drivers – Austin Howley and Josh Smith – who police believe were put at substantial risk of serious injury or death as Snoddy fled.

Snoddy also faces wanton endangerment charges for two police officers that he fled.

His charges include:

• Count I: murder, a capital offense;

• Count II-III: fleeing or evading police, Class D felonies;

• Count IV-VII: wanton endangerment, Class D felonies;

• Count VIII: operating a motor vehicle while license is suspended for DUI with aggravating circumstances, Class A misdemeanor;

 • Count IX: DUI with aggravating circumtances, third offense, a Class A misdemeanor; and 

 • Count X: speeding, a violation. 

Snoddy’s next court appearance has not been scheduled. Prosecutors are waiting to receive test results from the state crime lab.