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Two charged in fatal accidents

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By The Staff

SHEPHERDSVILLE - The driver of a vehicle involved in a crash, which killed 22-year-old Joshua Michael Bartley, has been indicted by the Bullitt County Grand Jury.

And a Bullitt County man has been charged with the death of his cousin in a separate incident.

The 12-member Bullitt County panel indicted Heather Michelle Woloch, 19, of Shepherdsville.

She was charged with manslaughter, a Class C felony punishable by 5-10 years in prison.

On July 15, Woloch was driving a southbound 2001 Dodge Stratus when it left Bardstown Road in Mount Washington.

According to Bullitt County sheriff’s chief deputy Danny Thompson, Woloch’s vehicle was passing another car, driven by the victim’s brother, when she crossed the right lane and hit an earth embankment, flipping the vehicle several times.

Both Woloch and Bartley were ejected with the victim dying from blunt force trauma. Both were taken to University Hospital, where Bartley died later.

During the initial investigation, Thompson said the sheriff’s department was looking for the cause of the accident. Part of the probe was to determine if speed or alcohol played a role.

According to the indictment, Woloch was charged with wantonly operating her vehicle in such a manner as to cause the death of her boyfriend.

Deputy Carl Trent investigated the case.

An indictment does not mean guilt or innocence. It only means that at least nine of the 12 grand jurors felt there was enough evidence to move forward with a criminal trial.

In a separate fatal accident, Brenton T. Smith, 19, of Fisherville, has been charged with DUI murder in the Aug. 23, 2009, death of his cousin, Jason L. Smith.

Jason Smith, 20, died of injuries suffered when the vehicle in which he was riding and an accident on Interstate 65 in Jefferson County.

Brenton Smith is currently being housed in the Bullitt County Detention Center for a 60-day period on an unrelated incident.

He entered a guilty plea on a charge of complicity to trafficking marijuana. The one-year sentence was probated for five years but he must serve 60 days in the local jail.

Final sentencing in that Jan. 12, 2009, case will be on Oct. 19.

Justin Bryant, a co-defendant, recently entered a similar plea in the marijuana case.