‘I lost my best friend’: Nashville man recalls moments when speeding killed his wife


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Nashville man is now in jail four months after Metro Police say he hit and killed a woman on Nolensville Pike.

On January 11, 2021, Thomas Pollard and his wife, 56-year-old Ellen Abbott, were attempting to cross the street near their home to go to a nearby restaurant. A speeding car hit Abbott just feet away from her husband. The couple was not using a crosswalk.

“We approached Nolensville Road and stood on a corner. It was dark, it was 6:30 p.m.,” Pollard said. “You could see the lights coming over the hill and the lights coming. So finally we got to the point to proceed across. She got about a meter ahead of me and she disappeared.”

Metro Police say 29-year old Shannon Holt was driving more than 70 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone when he hit Abbott. Police arrested him Friday night following an indictment by a grand jury.

Holt is charged with vehicular homicide by recklessness and not having insurance related to a crash involving death.

“I usually was the first one always to cross the street. This time I don’t know. I just stepped back and I don’t know what happened,” Pollard said. “It’s been real bad. I lost my best friend.”

Pollard says it’s been an undeniably difficult few months after having witnessed such a traumatic event and losing his wife. But he doesn’t want Holt to spend his life behind bars.

“I don’t have no animosity to him. He’s still responsible. He needs to take responsibility for what happened. But I don’t want to see him sit in jail,” Pollard said.

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Pollard said his wife spent her career helping people as the Director of the Office of Criminal Justice Services for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

“I’d rather have him spend the next seven to eight years helping with a homeless shelter. Maybe a little time in jail or prison, but what good is that gonna serve? And she made a whole life, a career, out of keeping people out of jail,” Pollard said. “It was a great loss to the state of Tennessee. A great loss.”

Holt is being held in jail on a $100,000 bond.


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