Crash victim's family vows to help others after tragedy

Judge lowers bond for murder suspect

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) — It's been nearly six months since a horrific crash killed two people and hurt nine others waiting in line for a food truck outside the La Movida nightclub. Tuesday, the man charged in the case, Chad Erdley, requested the judge to lower his bond, which the judge honored. He’s facing multiple charges, including murder and assault.

The judge lowered Erdley’s bond from $250,000 to $150,000, citing Erdley’s current lack of income as a primary reason. While the court said it's highly unlikely Erdley will post his bond and be released from jail, one of the victim's family members said it's still upsetting to know it’s even a possibility.

Back in January, police said Erdley, 43, was driving too fast when he lost control of his car, crashing into a crowd of people standing in line for a food truck outside the La Movida nightclub. Investigators said Erdley later admitted to drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana before the crash.  Stacy Walker and Jennie Burton died that night. For those loved ones left behind like Jennie's daughter, Samantha Franklin, there are so many questions.

"I just want to know why. What caused you to do this?” Franklin said. “It’s not just my family. It’s the other victims that were hurt. It’s his family. I’m sure they’re suffering, too.”

Franklin knows she may never get that answer, but that hasn't stopped her from staying vigilant in her mother's case.

"I feel that's the only way I will get closure is to know what he was going through that night,” Franklin said. “What keeps me coming back is the King, the Lord, and truthfully knowing that I’ve got to stay in prayer and just stay lifted up in good spirits to make sure that I can physically make it into the courtroom.”

In the months since the crash, Franklin has made it her mission to turn this tragedy into something positive, even starting a Facebook group called Justice for Jennie. 

"The page is not just for drinking and driving or losing someone. It's just for anybody to share stories with their loved ones. For me, that's what helped me the most is to help other people and educate them on the situation. Being able to lift them up helps lift me up as well,” Franklin said.

Franklin said she relies on her faith to keep her strong, wearing a special shirt as a reminder of both that and her mom.

"At her funeral, we found out from my pastor that FROG means forever rely on God. So, that's why I had them put it above my heart,” Franklin said. “My mom was a great woman. It doesn’t feel like she’s been gone for six months.”

While this case is far from over, Franklin said she now feels called to make sure others feel the same support she said she's gotten during the last six months.

"It's what my mom would want me to do is just continue with my life and also make sure that nobody else is hurt in another situation like this,” Franklin said. “I’m just here for anybody that needs that support that was either there that night or that was hurt that night.”

Jennie Burton's family is planning to have a memorial balloon release this Saturday.  You can find more information on the event on that Facebook group, Justice for Jennie.

Erdley is due back in court August 16.

 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment