LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A Louisville woman was killed after the motorcycle she was on slammed into an SUV early Saturday morning. The crash happened at Bardstown Road and Strathmoor Boulevard in Louisville’s Belknap neighborhood.
Police believe alcohol was a factor in the crash and they have charged Christopher Purcell, 53, with DUI and second-degree manslaughter.
Police say the motorcycle slammed into a Jeep Cherokee that Purcell was driving when he was crossing Bardstown Road at Strathmoor Boulevard.
“What we're getting from witnesses is that a motorcyclist traveling southbound on Bardstown was going at a very high rate of speed,” said Metro police public information officer Alicia Smiley.
The passenger on the motorcycle was Tracy Blevins, 31, who was killed instantly.
“This is just a terrible time and we are all grief stricken,” said Kathy Newton Troutman.
Troutman is a long time family friend and has known Blevins since she was a teenager.
“She was vivacious just like any other teenager,” said Troutman. “[She] loved life, was a very smart woman, and an outstanding student.”
Blevins was a 1999 Christian Academy of Louisville graduate. She received her bachelor’s degree from MaKendree University in 2009. Her family and friends say she was a die-hard University of Louisville sports fan and loved the Kentucky Derby.
Now her family gathers together in disbelief of her loss while police piece together what may have caused the fatal accident.
“Our traffic investigators are currently on scene and they are looking at the possibility that not only speed but alcohol may have played a factor into this accident,” said Smiley.
Purcell is the only person to face charges in connection to the accident. Purcell and a passenger in the Jeep were uninjured.
The driver of the motorcycle was Blevins' close friend. He was taken to University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police say both people on the motorcycle were wearing helmets.
Blevins’ family says they will have her funeral this week.