Survivor of crash involving alleged DUI driver: 'It felt like a - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Survivor of crash involving alleged DUI driver: 'It felt like a bomb went off'

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The survivor of a crash in Louisville this weekend involving an alleged DUI driver says it felt like a bomb went off.

Two people died and seven were hurt when a car plowed into them early Sunday morning on South Third Street Road. The victims were treated at U of L Hospital, including Jennifer Tschida, one of the survivors.

"I didn't even hear brakes," Tschida said. "There was no warning."

It's a scene Tschida says she'll never forget. She and her friends were waiting for a Taco Truck to open. 

"We were standing there, and all of the sudden, we heard this horrific metal," Tschida said.

It was the sound of a car speeding toward them, smashing into nearby cars -- and then into the crowd.

"The last thing I thought of is, my four kids are going to lose the only family that they have left," Tschida said. "And who's going to be there for them now? Who's going to tell them that we all died tonight?"

Tschida says her brother-in-law, Bryan Brown -- and a friend -- tossed her to safety. She was hit by debris, but amazingly survived.

"It just looked like a bomb went off," Tschida said. "And that's where some people took their last breath last night."

Tschida spoke outside U of L Hospital where Brown is still recovering from broken bones.

"I'm alive," Tschida said. "Not everybody made it out alive last night. Just bumps and bruises. They'll heal."

Police say the man driving the car was 37-year-old Chad Erdley. He's charged with two counts of murder and seven counts of assault and wanton endangerment, as well as criminal mischief, DUI and drug charges.

Jennie Burton, age 45, died. A man was also killed, but hasn't been identified.

A judge entered not guilty pleas and set Erdley's bail at a $250,000.

"Given the charges -- multiple charges that he's facing -- I believe that he's a danger to the community," said Jefferson County District Judge Annette Karem, Monday morning.

Tschida says she wants Erdley to serve plenty of prison time, but says she is not angry.

"I don't hate him," Tschida said. "He has to live that. We walked away. I wouldn't want to live with the fact that I killed people and ruined lives." 

Despite it all, Tschida says she's grateful.

"Because I'm alive," Tschida said. "Because some of the people I was talking to that night, they were dead. They died. They were on the ground next to my family members. And they didn't get to go home. I went home."

Erdley has a criminal record dating back to 1999, including drug and alcohol convictions, and assaulting a police officer.

Related Stories:

UPDATE | 45-year-old woman among victims killed in alleged DUI wreck on 3rd Street Road

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