‘He was a protector’: Girlfriend remembers man killed by accused street racer
Police say two Dodge Chargers were driving in excess of 100 miles per hour at the time of the crash.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Metro Police are searching for the second driver involved in a deadly street racing incident.
The crash on Clarksville Pike killed Jacob Barnhardt, 34, of Clarksville, police said. Two Dodge Chargers were speeding southbound in excess of 100 miles per hour Monday afternoon when one lost control and crossed into the northbound lanes, hitting the Honda Insight Barnhardt was driving.
Officers would like to question the driver of the second Dodge Charger involved in the street racing. The second Charger, seen below in a surveillance photo to the left, continued inbound on Clarksville Pike, police said.
The Charger involved in the crash, to the right in the photo, was driven by Patrick Ewin, 31, who has been charged with vehicular homicide by recklessness in the death of Barnhardt.
Barnhardt had to be extricated from the Honda, police said. He was rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he died shortly after arrival. Ewin was transported to the hospital for minor injuries, then to jail.
Barnhardt’s girlfriend, Kate Kastle, said he was a retired Army special forces combat medic who served 18 years based at Fort Campbell. He was driving to pick up her two boys and then go to his daughter’s softball game after work at the time of the crash.
“He didn’t miss anything that had to do with the kids, ever,” Kastle said. “When I got the call from his daughter’s mom that he wasn’t at the game, and when my boy’s dad called asking if everything was OK because he didn’t pick up the boys, I just knew something happened.”
Kastle said her world is shattered without her soulmate, Barnhardt, and she is struggling to process his death. She is hoping police will be able to identify the second driver and provide justice for her family.
“They just ripped him away from us,” Kastle said. “He was leaving the job that he loved to go pick up the children that he loved.”
Kastle described Barnhardt as a devoted family man who would do anything for his children. Their friends started a GoFundMe to help cover his funeral expenses and support his family through this difficult time.
“He was a protector,” Kastle said holding back tears. “He took such good care of all of us. All of his former teammates always said they felt safe around him on deployments or anywhere. Even at home he always kept us safe. As a former medic and a former nurse, he was always taking care of us if we were sick. Jake was just amazing.”
Anyone with information on the driver of the second Charger is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.
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