Cab driver charged with reckless homicide in connection with crash deaths


by Adam Walser

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 31 at 5:28 AM

FLOYD CO., Ind. (WHAS11) -- A day after a crash killed four people along Indiana Highway 111, the driver of a taxicab police believe was responsible for the crash has been charged with four counts of reckless homicide.

Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson called a press conference Monday afternoon to announce that Charles M. Barlow is now facing those felony charges.

"This is four homicides. This is vehicular homicide. We've got four people who are dead that shouldn't be," Henderson said.

Henderson says accident reconstructionists determined Barlow was driving the cab 80 miles an hour when it collided with a Cadillac six tenths of a mile from Horseshoe Casino.

Henderson says other factors were also involved.

"The fact that it was dark, the fact that there was other traffic, other vehicles around, and the fact that we believe through the reconstruction that the cab went left of center," Henderson said.

The crash killed the driver of the Cadillac, Thomas Stinson Jr., who was returning from the casino as well as three occupants of the cab.

The other victims have been identified as Barlow's finance' Laura Weigand as well as two of Barlow's best friends Michael Roby and Tara Hirsekorn.

The crash was described as one of the worst ever witnessed by officers on the scene.

"The first officer I had at the scene, Lt. Kelly, told me it was fully engulfed when he got there," Floyd County Sheriff Darrell Mills said. "And he had never seen an accident scene to that magnitude in his career. And neither have I."

We've learned that Barlow has only worked at Yellow Cab for a couple of months.
He was arrested in Louisville in 1999 for theft, burglary and possession of a forged instrument. Court records indicate Barlow eventually entered into a diversion program. Court records show he was charged on an out-of-state warrant in 2011.

We've also determined he had several aliases.

"Suffice it to say that we had to identify the proper name and who we were actually dealing with," Henderson said.

Investigators have also ordered toxicology reports, which could result in more charges if drugs or alcohol is found in his system.