Driver whose truck hit Garmon's van indicted for murder

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Police say man was under influence during fatal wreck last September

By Ben Carlson

The driver of a dump truck that struck and killed Lawrenceburg resident Marie Garmon last September was indicted Tuesday afternoon for murder and operating a vehicle under the influence of intoxicants.
Garmon, a young mother and hospice nurse, succumbed to her injuries five days after the dump truck, driven by Hustonville resident Eric D. Jenkins, struck her minivan head-on on Versailles Road.
Circuit Court Judge Charles Hickman read the indictments returned by the Anderson County Grand Jury, ordered a warrant issued for Jenkins’ arrest and set a full cash bond of $100,000.


According to a news release issued at 1:15 a.m. today, Jenkins is now behind bars in the Shelby County Detention Center.
The indictments follow a 10-month investigation by the Kentucky State Police. No other details were available at press time, including if the operating under the influence charge stemmed from suspected use of drugs or alcohol.
Garmon, 43, sustained massive injuries in the wreck that occurred when the truck struck her van and drove it into a rock wall near Starhill Way.
The 1997 International dump truck was headed toward Versailles when it struck Garmon’s mini-van. It was reported at the time that the truck locked up its brakes to avoid hitting another vehicle and veered over into the opposite lane where it struck Garmon’s vehicle.
She died several days later at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, touching off a period of mourning the likes of which hadn’t been seen in years in Anderson County.
An estimated 4,000 people turned out to pay their last respects for Garmon, the largest turnout funeral director Brian Ritchie said he had ever seen.
“There were people waiting in line for over two hours,” said Ritchie. “The line went from the front of the church down South Main, and there were cars parked everywhere.”
Christy Jane Hurst, Marie’s cousin, said the large crowd didn’t surprise her.
“She sparkled and shined a little more than the rest of us,” Hurst said. “People were just drawn to her because she was such a good friend.”
“It was amazing,” said Deede Byrne, chief clinical officer for Hospice of the Bluegrass, where Garmon worked as a nurse. “It was a huge testament to the impact that Marie and her family have made on the community.”
Ann Ward knew Garmon for 10 years and is a neighbor of Garmons in The Gardens subdivision.
Ann’s husband, Mike, was close friends with Garmon for more than 20 years.
Ann said her husband is fond of saying: “There’s only two people who knew Marie — the people who liked her and the people who loved her,” Ann Ward said. “She’s just a great person.”  
“She [Garmon] had the ability to make people feel important,” Mike Ward said.
Austin Lindzy, a high schooler at Anderson County High School at the time, was wearing one in support of Marie’s son John Paul, with whom he plays sports at the high school.
Across Lawrenceburg and on social media websites, pink and green ribbons with a silver “M” in the center served first as symbol of hope that Marie would recover from the massive injuries she sustained, then as prayerful remembrances of her life.
Mourners wore them while waiting in line to pay their respects, and each of the 35 mailboxes where the Garmons live in The Gardens displayed the ribbons as well.
The Rev. Jim Wheeler of First Christian Church called the outpouring “incredible.”
“I was just so amazed and blessed by the response from the community and her friends,” Wheeler said Monday afternoon. “[When Marie was in the hospital] on Friday, there were probably around 60 folks who just stayed at the hospital … not just family and friends. It was a very emotional time.”
Wheeler described Garmon as “a loving mother, wife and daughter.”
The outpouring of support didn’t end there. Asked by The Anderson News how the community could help, Garmon’s father, Jerry Crawford, suggested donations be made the local food pantry.
David Montgomery, who operates Open Hands Food Pantry, said at the time that the donations of food and money were significant.
 “It’s tremendous and a real blessing for us,” Montgomery said. “There is a great need.”
About $3,000 of that total came from donations collected at the annual Bourbon Festival in Bardstown.
Hurst, Garmon’s cousin, is a part-time employee at Wild Turkey Distillery and said the proceeds from two Wild Turkey baskets raffled off at the festival were given to Open Hands.