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Forgery leads to murder charage

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Sizemore charged in July 2010 fatal accident

By Geoff Hamill

 

A Washington County grand jury returned an indictment against a truck driver for his part in a fatal 2010 accident.
According to court records, Stephen Sizemore, 55, of East Bernstadt, Ky., has been charged with wanton murder, and the charges were filed because he allegedly forged documents relating to his Department of Transportation physical examination.

According to a report by Kentucky State Police, Sizemore was driving a 1999 Peterbilt semi truck on US 150 on Friday, July 16, 2010, when the truck sideswiped a 2011 Toyota Camry driven by Koichi Kaawamur, 29, of Bardstown, and then hit a 2000 Nissan Sentra driven by Amanda Joe Trent, 26, of Bardstown. The truck then hit a 2001 Honda driven by Vic Walters. The truck turned over on top of Walters’ vehicle, trapping him inside. Walters was pronounced dead at the scene.
The original police report indicated that the accident took place after Sizemore fell asleep.
The murder charge is the result of an in-depth investigation by Kentucky State Police. Court records in the case include a statement from Dr. David Hays, a physician at East Bernstadt Medical Clinic, who said he had not given Sizemore a physical examination, although Hays’ name appears on the physical examination card held by Sizemore. Despite his name appearing on the card, Hays said it was not his signature.
“The problem is that he was driving on a forged physical examination, and if it had not been forged, he would not have been driving,” said Tim Cocanougher, commonwealth’s attorney. “At this time, the evidence appears that Mr. Sizemore may have had some sort of sleeping disorder. Whether or not that would have caused him to fail the physical, we don’t know.”
Cocanougher added that his understanding is that officers continue to investigate, and are looking at the possibility that Sizemore did have a sleeping disorder. He added that officers indicated that even after being removed from his vehicle at the scene of the accident, Sizemore continued to fall asleep while in a police car.
“That’s really what raised the flag with them, and that’s why they continued to investigate, and that’s when they found the forged physical,” Cocanougher said. He added that no drugs or alcohol were found in Sizemore’s system, and officers would not have been surprised to find substances given the symptoms he was exhibiting.
Sizemore is charged with wanton murder, and could receive a penalty of 20 years to life in prison if convicted, according to Cocanougher.
No trial date has been set at this time.