Driver in Fatal Hit-and-Run Thought He Struck Deer
By WestKyStar Staff
BENTON, KY - The Marshall County Sheriff's Department has located the driver involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident Sunday morning.
Deputies responded to the scene about 1:30 am Sunday after someone spotted a man lying in the ditch along Highway 68 in Palma. He was pronounced dead on the scene, and identified as 25-year-old Matthew William Bonds of Gilbertsville.
A detective investigating the scene identified parts of the side mirror and headlight from a 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan. After a press release was issued about their search for the vehicle, a tip was received about a similar vehicle that hit a deer that morning. A deputy went to a home on Yacht Drive in Gilbertsville and impounded a damaged vehicle.
The van's owners, 65-year-old Jerry Elrod and 58-year-old Tamera Elrod spoke to detectives, and said they were delivering newspapers for the Paducah Sun when they struck what they believed was a deer. Jerry Elrod was driving, and said he only saw it out of the corner of his eye, and stopped to see if the animal was still alive. They found nothing, and investigation of the scene showed his footprints, but they did not reach the area where Bonds was thrown. After stopping at a convenience store in Draffenville to check damage to the van, the couple continued their route.
Several hours later, Jerry Elrod and a friend went back to the scene to look for the deer again, but found nothing, since Bonds' body was no longer there. The couple did not know they had struck a man until they were told at the Sheriff's Department.
No charges are pending, but the investigation continues, and the case will be presented to a Grand Jury.