Popular local talk show host mourns son's loss on Father's Day

by: Zach Crenshaw Updated:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - On this Father's Day, the popular and often controversial talk show host Thaddeus Matthews is mourning the loss of his son.

Late Thursday night Kenya Matthews, 32, was hit and killed by a drunk driver while riding his bike in South Memphis.

Police arrested 62-year old Melvin Willies for the death, and charged him with Vehicular Homicide and Driving Under the Influence.

The police report states that after Willies hit Kenya Matthews with his car, he pulled over and waited for police.
Once officers arrived though, they said he failed the field sobriety tests.

The gloomy weather on Sunday was appropriate for Thaddeus Matthews’ Father’s Day.

“It was different this morning when I got up,” said Matthews.

Like so many Dads, Matthews’ phone would usually ring on the holiday with a call from his kids.

“Normally around Father's Day, my birthday, things like that. I would get a call [from Kenya],” Matthews told FOX13.

This Father’s Day there was no call from Matthews’ oldest son Kenya.

“He was riding [his bike] down Weaver Road and he was hit by a drunk driver and killed on the site,” said Matthews.

Matthews said the suspect should have never been behind the wheel of a car.

“He has two prior DUI convictions. One in the state of Minnesota, one in the state of Iowa. He has no driver’s license, he has no insurance,” said Matthews.

The suspect, Willies, is now facing multiple charges, including Vehicular Homicide.

“I'm going to be at every court hearing starting Monday morning. I am going to press prosecutors to give him the fullest penalty that they can give,” Matthews said.

Thaddeus Matthews said his relationship with his son was not always as close as he wishes it would have been.

“No matter how estranged the relationship is. That is still my son.”

He hopes though, that other fathers learn from his mistakes, and don’t take the time they have with their sons for granted.

“I can't turn back the hands of time. I can only share with any father, if there's any discord between you and your child. Your son or your daughter. We need to get it together, we need to reconcile whatever the differences are.”