Madeline Thomas and Adrian Hightower (Source: WAVE 3 Archives)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – It was a crash on Thanksgiving Day 2010 that left two Louisville teens dead and a local father charged with two counts of reckless homicide. Now we take a look at what led prosecutors in Oldham County to file charges in the case.
The crash left a well-liked 34-year-old father and local bank vice president, Robert Patrick Kane, hospitalized.
"He had memory loss and he had internal organ damage," said Brian Butler, Kane's attorney.
That same crash also took the lives of two popular Louisville teens - Madeline Thomas, a 17-year old Seneca High student, and Adrian Hightower, a 19-year old leukemia survivor.
"He was loved and he was a fighter," Adrian's sister told us after the crash.
Discovery documents filed in the case shows Kane lost control of his northbound Trailblazer on Interstate 71 as he came up on another car in the fast lane. It states Kane tried to pass that driver on the right and when he quickly tried to merge back into the left lane he lost control of his SUV. Police say Kane's car crossed the median and hit the teens southbound car.
Witnesses have different accounts of what happened. The driver Kane was attempting to pass told police Kane was tailgating her and looked angry as he tried to pass her car. But another witness stated Kane's Trailblazer did not appear to be aggressively driving and appeared to be going the speed limit. Butler says Kane was going 78 in a 70 mile per hour zone.
The police report indicated rain had caused the road to be wet. Toxicology reports show Kane had no drugs or alcohol in his system.
"I was a prosecutor for years and years and I'm not going to say it's never happened, but it's very unusual for someone to be charged in a vehicular accident when drugs or alcohol didn't play a part," said Butler.
Butler said the fact that Kane is charged with two counts of reckless homicide should give every driver something to think about.
"Ultimately the people of Oldham County will have to decide if they believe this type of conduct is criminal and I would certainly hope they would say no," said Butler.
Kane's 5-year-old daughter wasn't hurt in the crash.
The prosecutor tells us he can't talk about the charges right now, but referenced other similar cases, like a Boone County deadly crash where a driver was criminally charged for allegedly having faulty brakes and not getting them fixed.
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