Centralia businessman charged with reckless homicide for fatal Central City crash

MARION COUNTY — The Marion County State’s Attorney filed a charge of felony reckless homicide Friday morning against a 58-year-old Centralia business man involved in a fatal crash early last week in Central City.

Thomas F. Joy was previously cited with misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol and failure to yield right-of-way at an intersection for a May 15 crash that claimed the life of 65-year-old Jerry Clarkson, of Odin.

State’s Attorney Bill Milner says he had been waiting on the report and all the information he needed was received late Thursday and he filed the Class 3 felony charge against Joy Friday morning. A Class 3 felony is punishable by between 2 and 5 years in prison if convicted.

Milner explained that the citations are issued and filed by law enforcement. But he needs the report and evidence before proceeding with charges.

According to authorities Joy, a partial owner of the Centralia Sentinel, reportedly pulled his pickup truck out of an alleyway next to the Broadway Tavern and into the path of Clarkson’s motorcycle.

Joy, who refused to take a breathalyzer test, was not injured in the crash. He was arrested but then released from the Central City police department where he posted $100 bond.
He’s scheduled to appear in court July 18 for a first appearance.

This is the second DUI Joy has received in Marion County. In 1991 he was charged and convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol. He was sentenced to court supervision.