A man faces a felony charge in the hit-and-run death of a southside Indianapolis woman last week.
The Marion County prosecutor charged Greg Hudson, 50, Shelbyville, with a Class C felony charge of failure to stop after an accident resulting in death. Hudson told investigators he didn’t know he hit someone at the time but found out later and had thought about turning himself in, according to court documents.
Police say Kathleen Clark was struck and killed while she was walking on Meridian Street near Troy Avenue, and the driver then drove off. The 63-year-old mother of two wasn’t found until a day later.
Sherry Hudson, Greg Hudson’s wife, said she and her husband had been instructed not to comment. She said he hired defense attorney James Voyles Jr., who was not available Wednesday.
Clark has family in the Center Grove area. Her son, Rick Clark, said she was an energetic person who enjoyed dancing to live music and who worked hard for everything she had, setting an example of work ethic for her children and grandchildren.
Rick Clark said he experienced a little relief that an arrest was made after his mother’s death.
“It’s now in stage two, which brings its own worries and problems,” he said. “It’s a long process when you lose someone this way. It’s tough.”
He called his mother a role model for her children and grandchildren, who have learned from her work ethic. One of her grandchildren is an honor student at Center Grove High School who recently got a perfect score on his SAT, he said.
“She was a nice person who worked hard,” he said. “I don’t know that she ever missed a day of work, and my sister and I went on to never miss a day of work. I never missed a day of school because that’s the way we do it. We worked hard for everything.”
Kathleen Clark worked for years at a thrift store and made minimum wage her whole life. She was offered promotions into managerial roles over the years but turned them down because she enjoyed her work, Rick Clark said.
“I don’t know what she liked about it, but she really took pride in her job,” he said.
She preferred to work for everything she had and didn’t want help, he said. She wouldn’t accept anything from her son except around Christmas, when he tried to get her a gift or send her to see her sisters in New Hampshire, where she was originally from.
She was a humble person who wasn’t at all materialistic, Rick Clark said. She didn’t want or need a cellphone or a computer or other things that many people consider necessities, he said.
Instead, she liked to have fun and go dancing. She liked music from the 1950s, the 1960s and the 1970s, particularly rockabilly. She enjoyed Elvis, Kid Rock and especially live bands. She would go to bars and nurse a beer for four or five hours when bands played, so she could hit the dance floor.
“She’s very energetic, and it’s not coffee energy,” he said. “It’s natural energy. She could tire out 22-year-olds on the dance floor.”
On Jan. 13, Kathleen Clark had been walking from her southside residence to a bar, where she planned to see a friend play drums. She was walking about a mile and half from her home, was accustomed to walking much farther and likely was crossing the street because there was no more sidewalk, Rick Clark said.
A man outside a nearby bar later told police he heard a loud sound about 7 p.m. that night.
He saw a light-colored Ford F150 with a camper drive south on Meridian Street and thought it hit something but scanned the area and saw nothing, according to court records. The bar owner found Kathleen Clark’s body in the grass about 11:30 a.m. the next day, according to court records.
Police found part of a headlight lens and other pieces of a vehicle nearby, court records said. Police reviewed the bar’s security camera footage and saw Kathleen Clark walking and then a light-colored Ford F150 drive by. A man saw a light-colored pickup truck with a camper shell stop in a neighborhood about a half-mile south of where the accident took place.
He told police the driver got out and checked a damaged headlight, according to court records.
Investigators asked the public for any information about a light-colored 1997 to 2004 Ford F150 they believed was involved in the accident. An anonymous tip came in that the truck was being repaired at a business in Shelbyville, court records said.
Police found the remainder of the missing headlight in a trash can at the repair shop, and the jagged edges fit with the piece recovered from the accident scene, court records said.
Hudson, the registered owner of the vehicle, told police he was headed to check out businesses in the Greenwood area the night of the accident when he hit something.
He told them it was dark and slick and he thought he struck a wooden barricade, court records said.
Hudson told investigators that he decided to drive home because he didn’t know what he hit. He told police that he first learned that he struck someone two days later and thought about turning himself in a number of times but did not call police, court records said.