Family of victim killed in fiery Lexington crash still waiting for justice

Family of victim killed in fiery Lexington crash still waiting for justice
Published: Jun. 21, 2023 at 3:26 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It has been nearly three years since 50-year-old Tammy Botkin was killed in a fiery hit-and-run crash on Leestown Road in Lexington.

Cornell Thomas II was charged in March 2021 in connection with the crash. Botkin’s family says Thomas has yet to face any prison time.

“She gets brutally killed. Horribly killed. And she didn’t deserve it. So, somebody should have to pay for that,” Doug Botkin, Tammy Botkin’s husband.

On July 3, 2020, Doug says Tammy left for work around 6:30 a.m. and went about her normal routine.

“She was only going to be there half a day and, uh, she never came back,” Doug said.

Tammy never made it to work. Police say Thomas ran a red light at a high rate of speed and t-boned Botkin’s car causing it to catch on fire. Not long after, the coroner showed up at the house.

“I want to know where my wife is because everybody’s looking for her,” said Doug. “He just said, ‘There’s been a horrendous accident.’”

Police say thomas tried to run from the scene but was caught. He was indicted in March 2021 on two charges: murder and leaving the scene of an accident/failure to render aid.

“The first thing I wanted to make sure of is that the kids didn’t see the news,” Doug said. “I didn’t want them girls to see that car sitting in the middle of the road on fire.”

Tammy is described as the glue that kept the family together. She loved UK basketball and her children and grandchildren were her world.

“If we could get some kind of closure, then we can go on and move on and deal with the grief in some other way,” Doug said.

Botkin’s family says the case has been put off several times and they’ll go months without hearing a word from the court. Recently, they say Thomas agreed to their attorney’s plea deal, but the judge wouldn’t accept it.

They believe Thomas should be arraigned and put in jail for what he did and are shocked that the judge hasn’t made a decision on what to do with the case.

“Accidents happen in happenstance. There was nothing accidental about it. The guy had choices he could’ve made that morning, and the choices that he made got her killed,” Doug said.

According to court records, Thomas is set to appear for a status hearing on July 20.

WKYT reached out to the office of Fayette County Circuit Court judge Julie Goodman, who’s presiding over the case. They tell us it’s not abnormal for the case to still be active in the court system years later. They couldn’t provide additional information specific to the case.