Woman charged with murder of tow truck driver - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Woman charged with murder of tow truck driver

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The car Jewan Turner was working on when he was killed. (Source: WAVE 3 News) The car Jewan Turner was working on when he was killed. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Waddell Elliott (Source: WAVE 3 News) Waddell Elliott (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Paula Oppel (Source: LMDC) Paula Oppel (Source: LMDC)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Independence Day is a time most of us spend with family celebrating the birthday of our country. However, the reality is some have to work and that unfortunately turned deadly for a Louisville man.

Jewan Turner, 35, was hit by a woman police say was driving drunk late Thursday night on Beulah Church Road.

"He was just right there, doing his regular job that he does every day and something just ... I don't know," said Waddell Elliott, Turner’s uncle.

Elliott said his nephew was training another man how to do the job he performed every day. The trainee, Elliott says, went to get something in a truck and heard the sound of a collision.

"They were hooking up a truck, I mean a car, and somebody just came down and hit the door and knocked him past the truck," Elliott said.

Elliott said the trainee called 911 and flagged down a passing Louisville Metro police officer.

"They did all they could for him,” said Elliott, “and he just ... is not with us anymore."

Police also tracked down the driver who they say hit the tow truck driver, Paula C. Oppel, 53. They say Oppel had a blood alcohol level that was twice the legal limit. Elliott said early Friday that was more than he knew.

"I got here and they wouldn't let me over there to see him and they wouldn't give me much information and I'm just getting pieces," he said.

Elliott said he'll let the justice system handle what happens to Oppel. His family has enough on their plate with what is now a double tragedy.

"We just buried my mother, which was his grandmother, on Monday,” said Elliott, “so it's just really rough right now for the family."

Oppel has been charged with murder, driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident. She's behind bars on a $25,000 bond and will be arraigned on July 5.

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