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Man, 23, charged with murder for motorcycle crash

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Drunk driver fled police, crashed head-on

By Jacquelyn Stoess Hack

A Louisville man who was allegedly drunk when he fled from police and crashed into a motorcycle this summer is now charged with murder.

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Nicholas W. "Nick" Snoddy appeared in Oldham circuit court on Friday shortly after a grand jury returned an indictment charging him with 10 crimes, 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 a motorcycle driven by Westport resident Charley Klosterman near Old Sligo Road.

The impact of the crash tossed Klosterman from his bike. 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 when he appeared in Oldham circuit court on Friday, where Snoddy pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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.

Following Snoddy's not guilty plea, Conrad discussed bond conditions with Romines and prosecutor Courtney Baxter.

Baxter requested a $500,000 full cash bond for Snoddy, while his attorney suggested a $1 million bond with surety, which allows 10 percent cash payment for release.

Baxter described Snoddy's alleged actions on June 13 as "egregious conduct." She said the sheer nature of his charges – allegedly fleeing police before and after the crash – illustrate the possibility of him being a flight risk.

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. 

Shortly after his arrest in June, a district judge set bond for Snoddy at $50,000, and his parents paid 10 percent for his release.

Conrad said Friday she intended to increase bond from $50,000, although she needs time to review the indictment and Snoddy's interview with pretrial services.

Romines requested home incarceration for Snoddy, who is working full-time at an apartment complex in Louisville.

Snoddy left the Oldham County Jail on Monday morning after his parents posted his $150,000 full cash bond in Oldham district court. 

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 on behalf of two police officers that he fled, although the court did not prohibit contact with them as they are part of the investigation. 

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 is scheduled at 1 p.m. Oct. 18.