Pike deputy killed in crash described as kind, community oriented

A Pike County sheriff's deputy was killed Monday evening when his police cruiser was hit by another driver who had lost control of his SUV, according to state police.

Deputy James Thacker, 53, of Elkhorn City, was pronounced dead at the scene of the wreck on U.S. 460 in the Belcher community, according to a news release.

State police said the preliminary investigation shows David Childers, 47, of Ashcamp, was driving west in a Nissan Pathfinder about 9 p.m. when he lost control and veered into the eastbound lane, striking Thacker's police cruiser.

Pike County Sheriff Charles "Fuzzy" Keesee said Thacker had been to the sheriff's office in Pikeville and had picked up papers, such as warrants and summonses, to serve.

Thacker was on his way back to the Elkhorn City area, Keesee said.

Thacker, who was married and a father of four, had been a deputy for about a year after one term as constable, Keesee said.

Keesee said Thacker was a very good deputy and was well-respected. "He was a very kind and community-oriented fella," Keesee said.

Also involved in the crash was a third car driven by Brenda Robinette, 38, of Pikeville.

Trooper Shaun Little, spokesman for the state police post in Frankfort, said Robinette was not injured.

Childers was admitted to Pikeville Medical Center. The hospital refused to release information on his condition.

Details of the accident, including the cause, remain under investigation by state police.

Visitation for Thacker will be held beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at Community Funeral Home in Pikeville.

Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Friday in the gym at East Ridge High School in Elkhorn City. Visitation will begin at noon.