INDIANAPOLIS — Court documents allege that John Killough Jr. knew he struck a person with his truck before purposefully fleeing from the scene and returning to his home where he gathered his belongings and went on the run the following day.
The Dec. 11 hit-and-run resulted in the death of 11-year-old Kyson Beatty.
Killough was arrested by police a week after the fatal collision thanks to an Indianapolis couple who had let Killough stay at their home before realizing he was wanted in connection with Beatty’s death and turned him in to police.
According to court documents, Beatty was driving a small, blue 80cc Yamaha motorcycle near the intersection of S. Tibbs Avenue and Wicker Road on Dec. 11 when the child was struck by a rollback tow truck that quickly fled the scene.
Killough would end up being identified as the suspected driver of the truck thanks to tips from witnesses and the public which led to investigators locating the truck as well as Killough’s employer who owned the rollback truck.
Court documents state that police spoke to Killough’s employer and viewed footage of Killough entering the driver’s seat of the rollback truck less than an hour prior to the fatal collision.
During the investigation, police spoke with a co-worker of Killough’s who was allegedly in the passenger seats at the time of the hit-and-run. The co-worker told police Killough was driving down Wicker Road when he saw a “blue streak” and Killough swerved and there was a loud thud.
The co-worker told officers that Killough said, “Aw f***, I think I hit somebody!” But instead of stopping, Killough was said to have quickly shifted gears and sped away, reportedly saying he “can’t be caught driving the truck.”
Court records and law enforcement confirm that Killough has had several past criminal cases. Specifically, multiple felonies and misdemeanors for public intoxication, resisting law enforcement and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Killough had his license suspended for life back in 2004.
Police said Killough removed all his belongings from the home he was renting on Dec. 12 and no one knew where he went. His employer told police he tried to contact Killough but only received “vague texts.”
Killough would be arrested a week later on Dec. 18 when he was turned in by a couple after arriving at their home and asking if he could stay.
During his arrest, prosecutors claim they found a bag of meth in his pocket leading to a third charge of drug possession.
“These charges don’t contemplate who was at fault in the accident, but what this case demonstrates is you’ve got to stay at the scene. If you don’t, that’s where the criminal penalties attach,” said Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears.
Killough faces a minimum of three years and a maximum of 18 years in prison for fleeing the crash.
For his part, prosecutor Mears praised all the witnesses for helping solve the case.
“I mean this case was truly a community coming together with people on the street that helped provide information and were witnesses to what occurred,” said Mears.
The suspect is due to make his initial court hearing Tuesday afternoon. He’s being held on a 160 thousand dollar bond.
Mears doesn’t expect anyone else connected to the case to face criminal charges but hopes the case sends a simple message to drivers everywhere.
“I think it just highlights the importance of people sticking around on scene and making sure they’re in a position to help someone,” said Mears. “The underlying goal here is to try and save lives and help individuals who are hurt.”