Murder indictment surprise, relief to tow truck driver’s family

Man indicted for murder in crash that killed tow truck driver 2 years ago

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A major development was announced in a two year old case involving the death of a tow truck driver who was hit and killed on the side of Dixie Highway as he was loading his wrecker.

A bench warrant is issued for the man prosecutors say is responsible. Last week, a grand jury indicted William S. Hillard, 36, charging him in the murder of Steve Simpson, 42.

Steve Simpson, 42, was hit and killed while working as a tow truck driver back in 2016.
Steve Simpson, 42, was hit and killed while working as a tow truck driver back in 2016. (Family photo)

Monday, Hillard did not show up in court and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

The victim’s family didn’t know about any of the legal developments until WAVE 3 News contacted them Monday. It is news they found hard to believe and a relief at the same time.

“It’s overwhelming,” Traci Beck, Simpson’s daughter, said.

For two years, Beck and her family have been checking court dockets periodically to see if there was any movement in the case of her father.

Simpson, a tow truck driver, beloved father and grandfather was killed in October 2016. He was on Dixie Highway loading his wrecker when police said Hillard hit him and killed him with his van.

“It’s been heart wrenching, “Beck said, tearing up. “People ask you every day, ‘How are you doing and how’s the case going?’ And you have no answers and you don’t know what to say because you don’t know how you’re doing.”

Traci Beck is Simpson's daughter. His family was shocked by the murder indictment in his death.
Traci Beck is Simpson's daughter. His family was shocked by the murder indictment in his death. (WAVE 3 News)

Not having an arrest early on was a crushing blow to the family.

Police said Hillard left the crash but eventually came back and had his blood drawn. A spokesman for the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office said prosecutors were waiting on multiple lab tests and were just able to present evidence to the grand jury last week.

Beck said it doesn’t matter -- she’s thankful investigators and prosecutors didn’t give up.

“I cannot thank them enough,” she said, “because once you go for two years with no answers, you kind of think we’ve been put into the back burner and justice may never get served.”

She added: “I literally told a family member two weeks ago, I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

Beck continually talks to her children about their grandfather, the man they called Pap-Pap, and now she’s asking the man charged in his death to turn himself in.

“Just show us you have some remorse, please,” she said, addressing Hillard on camera.

Hillard was sent a notice to appear in court Monday. Because he didn’t, the bench warrant was issued and his bond set at $25,000.

Meanwhile, the family has spent the past two years trying to help educate the public on Kentucky’s Move Over law.

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