|Nicholas Kulhanek (mug shot BCSO)|
A 27-year-old man from Shell Knob has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after he caused a crash that killed a motorcyclist Wednesday (07-12-12) evening near Shell Knob.
Trooper say Nicholas Carter Kulhanek, 27, was driving a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix on Missouri 39 at YY about 8:30 when he turned in front of a motorcycle being operated by 49 year-old Aaron L. Poston, also of Shell Knob.
According to sources close to the investigation, two deputies were returning from a call in Golden when they were dispatched to the wreck. When Sgt. Randy Kalbaugh and Deputy Christopher Hutson arrived on the scene an elderly man told them that a man in a white shirt and brown pants had "run up the hill." Officers pursued Kulhanek and ordered him to stop but he continued to flee and resisted arrest, according to court documents.
Sheriff Mick Epperly says authorities are searching for the man who was at the scene of the crash, but left before deputies returned, so they can get a statement from him.
According to the probable cause statement used as the basis for the charge/s, "Kulhanek told Trooper Kyle Knight that he had "a couple of drinks, not that many" before getting behind the wheel. When Knight attempted to have Kulhanek perform a series of field sobriety tests the man could "barley walk and needed assistance from three officers to stand." A warrant had to be issued so authorities could take the man's blood to be tested after he refused to voluntarily provide samples.
Prosecutor Johnnie Cox has also charged Kulhanek, who was just released from prison in February for assault, with resisting arrest and leaving the scene of an accident.
Cox says he may charge Kulhanek as a prior and persistent offender due to his prior felony convictions. He says he did not charge Kulhanek with driving while intoxicated because "it falls under the involuntary manslaughter umbrella."
Kulhanek is being held in the Barry County jail on a $250,000 cash only bond.