Soddy Daisy Postmaster Facing 9 Charges In Officer's Traffic Death; Police Say She Was Driving At High Speed; Police Ask Info On Her Whereabouts Prior To Incident

  • Monday, February 25, 2019
Janet Elaine Kirk Hinds
Janet Elaine Kirk Hinds

The Soddy Daisy postmaster charged in the traffic death of Chattanooga Police Officer Nicholas Galinger turned herself in on Monday morning.


Janet Elaine Kirk Hinds appeared briefly before General Sessions Court Judge Christie Sell on vehicular homicide by recklessness. She is also charged with reckless driving, speeding, failure to maintain lane, leaving the scene of an accident involving death, failing to report an accident involving death, failing to render aid, violation of a traffic control device and failing to exercise due care.


She was ordered to home confinement after posting a $300,000 bond.


She earlier was added to the TBI's 10 Most Wanted List. 

Police said Ms.

Hinds was traveling at a very high speed in poor weather conditions when she struck the officer, who was checking an overflowing manhole on Hamill Road.

Police said she also crossed a double yellow line before striking the officer and failed to observe posted signs by City Public Works about an exposed manhole.

Police said she first struck the warning sign and then hit the officer.  She then failed to render aid and left the scene at a high rate of speed, it was stated.  She also failed to report the accident.

Police were able to identify her vehicle from vehicle parts that were left behind at the scene.  Her Honda CRV with front end damage was located at 207 Port Drive in the Port Serena subdivision at Dallas Bay in Hixson.

"The Chattanooga Police Department is grateful for the assistance we've received from our area law enforcement partners in the search for the suspect who killed Officer Nicholas Galinger," said Chief David Roddy. "We also appreciate the outpouring of support we've received and continue to receive from members of our community."

Also, officials of the Chattanooga Police Department said they are "asking for the community's assistance in gathering information related to the whereabouts of Janet Hinds on the evening of Saturday, February 23, 2019 prior to 11:04 p.m. Hinds is the suspect charged in the fatal hit-and-run of Chattanooga Police Officer Nicholas Galinger."

"Anything that could explain Janet Hinds' whereabouts or behavior prior to the loss of Ofc. Galinger is needed for CPD's Traffic Unit to build the case for prosecution," said CPD Traffic Investigator Joe Warren. "Right now we are early on in the investigation and even the smallest detail could be helpful."

Anyone with information, photos, video, etc. is asked to please call (423) 698-2525, submit a tip in the Chattanooga PD mobile app, or contact lead investigator Joe Warren by email at

Ms. Hinds has been the postmaster at Soddy Daisy since November 2017.

She is the daughter of legendary softball coach Clifford Kirk, who long coached at Soddy Daisy and then Sale Creek.

She is charged with vehicular homicide.

A reward of up to $2,500 had been offered.

Rhonda Thurman, school board member, said she has known Janet Kirk Hinds since high school. She said, "She is the sweetest thing. I am shocked and just heart-broken over this. She must have just completely panicked."

On Sunday, Chattanooga Police located the vehicle in Hixson they said was driven by someone who struck and killed Officer Galinger on Saturday night. A large number of officers converged on the site.

Police began a massive manhunt for the driver of the vehicle. After finding the vehicle, officers knocked on the door of the home and no one answered. 

Officer Galinger, 38, died after he was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries after being struck by the hit and run vehicle.

Officer Galinger was on a call with his field training officer checking a hazard in the roadway. He was out of their patrol vehicle when a vehicle passing by struck him.

The incident happened around 11 p.m. in the 2900 block of Hamill Road. 

The vehicle that struck the officer fled. It was described as a 2017 or 2018 Honda CRV with heavy front-end damage.

Officer Galinger graduated from the CPD Academy on Jan. 24. He moved to Chattanooga to pursue his dream to become a police officer.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, March 1, at Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church, 6474 Beechmont Ave., Cincinnati, Oh. 45230. Burial will follow the services at Mt. Moriah Cemetery, Cinncinati, Oh.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, Feb. 28, from 12-5 p.m. at P.T. Whites Funeral Home, 2050 Beechmont Avenue, Cinncinati, Oh. 45230. Memorial contributions may be made to the Chattanooga Police dept. or to the American Cancer Society.

Arrangements for Officer Galinger are being handled locally by the Heritage Funeral Home, East Brainerd Chapel, 7454 E. Brainerd Road.

"The Chattanooga Police Department and this community lost not just an officer," said Chief David Roddy. "We lost a son, a father, a friend, and a protector."

Sheriff Jim Hammond said, “As Sheriff of Hamilton County I would like to offer our condolences to our brothers and sisters with the Chattanooga Police Department as they mourn the loss of Officer Nicholas Galinger after he passed away from injuries sustained in a hit-and-run on Hamill Road.

"Law enforcement is a dangerous career and those who heed the call to serve do so willingly and selflessly. Despite the dangers of the profession, each day men and women across our Nation choose to don the uniform of their local law enforcement agencies to serve and protect. They leave their homes not knowing if they will return. Unfortunately, due to the times we live in, more and more of our dedicated public servants in law enforcement are not returning home.

"In the case of last night’s tragic incident, our community, our Nation, lost another brave public servant.On behalf of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, I would like to ask our Heavenly Father to bless the officers of the Chattanooga Police Department as they mourn the loss of Officer Galinger. I also wish to offer our prayers and support to Officer Galinger’s family. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is here to help in any way necessary."

County Mayor Jim Coppinger said, "We want to take a moment this afternoon to extend our deepest sympathy to the family of Officer Nicholas Galinger who has died in the line of duty. 

"Officer Galinger died while serving and protecting the public. 

"We join the Chattanooga Police Department as they mourn this loss and join his fellow officers in their prayers and thoughts for Officer Galinger's family during this terrible, tragic time."

Officer Nicholas Galinger
Officer Nicholas Galinger
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