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St. Louis man charged with murder of Loyall Ky. man in fatal accident on Hwy 119 in Bell County

From WRIL - The Big One -

Paul Michael Shirk - BCDC

UPDATE: On Friday, January 12, 2024, at approximately 1:00 pm KSP Detective Andy Soltess of Post 10 charged Paul Michal Shirk with the murder of Matthew Estep. The criminal complaint states that Shirk was "operating a motor vehicle on US 119 and being involved in an automobile accident, hitting a vehicle operated by Matthew Estep causing his death.

The complaint further states that Shirk was under the influence of alcoholic beverages and/or drugs.

He is now being held on a total cash bond of $500,000.


Original story:

At approximately 5:07 pm on Thursday, January 11, 2024, Bell County Dispatch received a call of a two-vehicle accident with injuries and possible entrapment on Highway 119 in front of the Bell County Road Department.

Responding to the scene was Bell County EMS, Bell County Sheriff's Department, Bell Rescue Squad, and Bell County Volunteer Fire Department. The first responders found that a black Ford F-250 and a red Chrysler car were involved in a collision. The driver of the F250, 64-year-old Paul Michael Shirk of St. Louis Missouri, was able to exit his vehicle with no major injuries.

The driver of the Chrysler, identified by Bell County Coroner Don Horton as 37-year-old Matthew Estep of Loyall, Ky., suffered serious injuries and was pronounced deceased on the scene a short time later.

The roadway was shut down for several hours as Bell County Sheriff's Deputies deferred to a Kentucky State Police reconstruction unit to complete the investigation into the cause of the accident. The roadway reopened at 9:30 pm.

Shirk was detained on scene and later determined to be under the influence. He was booked into the Bell County Detention Center at 10:00 pm charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol - 1st offense.

We will be updating this story once the Kentucky State Police complete their investigation.

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