LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Two pedestrians were killed and seven others injured after police say a drunken driver whose blood-alcohol content was five times the legal limit lost control of his vehicle and plowed into a crowd standing near a food truck in a Kentucky parking lot.
Louisville Metro police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley told news outlets that 37-year-old Chad Erdley was speeding when he struck a parked car and continued into the parking lot just before 1 a.m. Sunday, hitting nine people.
Two unidentified pedestrians were pronounced dead at the scene. Seven others were hospitalized with injuries that do not appear to be life-threatening.
Police say Erdley had slurred speech, smelled of alcohol, and fell asleep several times after he was arrested. Court records show Erdley’s blood-alcohol level after the crash was 0.40. That’s five times the legal limit of 0.08 in Kentucky.
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He is facing numerous charges including two counts of murder and seven counts of first-degree assault. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney.
Stephanie Roby lives nearby and was among the first to arrive at the scene and offer help to those who were injured.
She said the crowd was standing at a taco truck, which shows up on the weekends for customers of the nightclubs La Movida and O’Dolly’s.
“They were trying to have a good night, have something to eat, and tragedy happened,” she said. “It was total chaos.”
Roby told reporters that injured people were lying everywhere. “It was very, very traumatic,” she said.
An arrest citation says Erdley denied driving the car that plowed into the crowd, though he admitted to drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana on Saturday evening. Witnesses told police he was driving the vehicle.
During an arraignment Monday, a judge set a $500,000 cash bond.
Roby said she attempted to perform CPR on a man who later died and that 10 to 15 others also were giving CPR and calling first responders.
“I tried to help,” she said. “There were several other people that tried to help and I’m so sorry that we could not save them.”