Testimony details 90 MPH crash in Michael Hardy murder trial

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- The second day of the murder trial of Michael "Drew" Hardy focused on first responder testimony, including a Kentucky State Police Trooper detailing the violent crash that happened at 90 MPH.

During the prosecution's second morning of witnesses, Bowling Green Police Officer Michael Keefer testified the crash scene was one of the most violent car wrecks he's been to.

"This was a violent, violent impact that occurred in a very serious collision. In the ambulance Mr. Hardy is yelling and screaming. As he's doing so that's when I start to detect the odor of alcoholic beverages coming from his person."

Keefer told the court that he asked for investigators to follow Michael "Drew" Hardy to the Medical Center as he received treatment.

An EMT working for the Medical Center described Hardy's reluctance to be treated initially. Julie Embry said after some short persuading, Hardy agreed to receive treatment. Before he left in an ambulance, Embry said she spoke with Hardy about the crash.

"Whenever the patient was asked if he had been drinking by EMS, he stated ‘I have been drinking.’ When asked how much he stated, ‘I don't know, a lot.’"

Embry detailed a scene with power lines and a light pole down on Smallhouse Road. She testified that Jeremy Pryor was pronounced dead on the scene inside of his Mazda Miata.

Accident re-constructionist Eric Houchins with BGPD was next to take the stand, describing pictures taken of the crash after both drivers had been taken away. The nearly 20 photos showed the front end of Hardy's 2011 Jeep smashed and crumpled. The SUV damage looked small compared to the Mazda driven by Pryor. The back end of the car was ravaged by the crash when it eventually hit a tree.

Kentucky State Police Trooper Hunter Martin also described data from the crash on November 21, 2014.

Martin detailed that Hardy's SUV was equipped with a black box showing data leading up to and during the crash.

Martin said the black box showed Hardy was driving 90 MPH at the point of impact with Pryor's car. The KSP Trooper testified that Hardy had his foot on the accelerator when he rear ended Jeremy Pryor on Smallhouse Road. No signs of braking showed up on the black box until after the point of impact. Martin also says there's no indication there was any failure of any mechanics in the car.

An audio tape was played in court as part of a BGPD's officer's testimony in the late afternoon.

The audio recording was taken in a hospital room at The Medical Center where Hardy was being treated just after the accident. In the clip an officer gets consent from Hardy to draw his blood.

Detectives later tell Hardy in the recording that his accident involved another driver. Until that point, when Hardy was asked what he remembered, he told police he couldn't recollect much, only that he hit a tree.

Once the news hit Hardy that his crash involved another driver that was seriously injured, he began sobbing and telling police he was sorry.

At the end of the tape, Hardy was read his Miranda rights.

At the end of the day Wednesday, Hardy was asked by Judge Steve Wilson, whether he would be taking the stand on Thursday. He and his attorneys said it's something they plan to discuss overnight.

The prosecution is expected to call at least one more witness, then rest, letting the defense take the courtroom for their witnesses and arguments Thursday.

During the first day of the trial, the prosecution detailed that Hardy had been drinking prior to the crash and had a blood alcohol level of .19. Hardy was prescribed seroquel at the time of the accident. A toxicology expert from the University of Kentucky testified that the drug would have enhanced the affects of the alcohol if both were combined.

Hardy is charged with murder, facing the maximum of a life sentence in prison.

The trial is expected to last through the week.



 
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