Butler HS student killed in crash on Dixie Highway; Louisville man charged with murder

Mary Ramsey
Louisville Courier Journal
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A 17-year-old girl died Monday after a collision on Dixie Highway, Louisville authorities said.

A man was driving northbound in a pick-up truck in the 7700 block of Dixie Highway at about 6:45 p.m., LMPD spokesperson Beth Ruoff said, when the truck crossed into the southbound side of the road and struck a car head-on. 

The truck then hit a pole, and the driver "fled the vehicle but was detained by bystanders momentarily until 3rd Division officers arrived," according to Ruoff. He was taken into custody and treated for "minor injuries" at the hospital.

The driver, Michael Dewitt, 27, of Louisville, was charged with murder, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance, leaving the scene of an accident, automobile theft, receiving stolen property (firearm) and possessing a handgun as a convicted felon, among other offenses, according to online records.

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The teenager driving the car died at the hospital.

The Jefferson County Coroner's Office later identified her as Madelynn Noel Troutt, 17, of Louisville, and said she died of blunt force trauma at 7:15 p.m. 

Both drivers were the sole occupants of their vehicles. 

LMPD's traffic unit is leading the investigation into the crash, which shut down parts of Dixie Highway into Monday night.

Dewitt's arrest citation says officers executed a search warrant for his toxicology report from University of Louisville Hospital, with the report showing a "high level" of amphetamines and benzodiazepines in his system.

Dewitt also had a handgun and assault rifle in his vehicle that, along with the vehicle, were all reported stolen out of Shelby County, and he was driving on an expired permit, according to the arrest citation.

Dewitt was appointed a public defender and entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment hearing Tuesday morning, and he remains held in Louisville Metro Corrections on a $500,000 bond ahead of a March 10 preliminary hearig.

Court records show Dewitt was arrested last month and charged with numerous offenses in connection with a stolen vehicle case. He was released from jail Feb. 24 after posting $5,000 bail in that case, according to online court records.

A GoFundMe created to help the family of Troutt, a Butler High School student and cheerleader, with medical and funeral costs has since raised roughly $20,000.

"Madelynn Trout was taken from us in a horrible way," the GoFundMe page says. "She was nothing short of the light in a dark place. Let’s all come together to show her family what she meant to all of us."

Billy Kobin contributed to this story. Reach reporter Mary Ramsey at mramsey@gannett.com, and follow her on Twitter @mcolleen1996. Support strong local journalism in our community by subscribing to The Courier Journal today.

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