Louisville man charged with two counts of murder after fatal crash on Taylorsville Road

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jeffersontown Police say they've arrested a man in connection with the deaths of two pedestrians in the Jeffersontown area Tuesday night.

According to an arrest report, police have arrested 26-year-old Juan Carlos Ortega-Santos. He is charged with two counts of murder, one count of first degree assault, one count of first degree wanton endangerment, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving without a license and failing to maintain insurance.

Late Wednesday afternoon, family members identified one of the victims as 16-year-old Tyeisha Lacy. Darlene Lacy says Tyeisha pushed the 8-year-old out of the way, saving her sister's life. Mother Lisa Clay identified her daughter as the other deceased victim, 10 year old Alena Clay.

The arrest report states that on Tuesday night, police were dispatched to the corner of Taylorsville Road and Farrish Drive on a report of an injury accident. When they arrived, police say Ortego-Santos was in the driver's side of a 2013 black Dodge. 

Police say their investigation determined that Ortego-Santos had been driving northbound on Taylorsville Road in the right lane, when he veered into the bicycle lane where four juveniles were walking to an apartment complex on Faris Drive. We're told they were on their way to an apartment complex Two of the four juveniles -- 10-year-old Clay and 16-year-old Lacy -- were hit. Police say Clay was pronounced dead at the scene and Lacy died at Kosair Children's Hospital.

Another girl suffered non-life-threatening injuries, but was treated at Kosair Children's Hospital.

Police say emergency responders noticed the scent of alcohol while treating Ortego-Santos, who suffered minor injuries. After being taken to Baptist Health Louisville, Ortego-Santos was given a blood alcohol toxicology test. Court records say Santos confessed to having two to three drinks between 7 and 7:30 Tuesday night -- but by 12:30 in the morning, three hours after the crash, his blood alcohol lingered at .200. That's two-and-a-half times above the legal limit. 

Ortego-Santos had no driver's license or insurance, according to police -- and he allegedly told officers he did not know how the accident happened. 

“I don’t have no animosity. All I feel is pain, missing my granddaughter,” said Patricia Clay, the grandmother of Alena Clay. “She just turned ten on May 31. We were only allotted ten years of this little life."

Clay describes her granddaughter as an "old soul", who loved to sing, swim, and pray. The Cochran Elementary student was known by the nickname, "Annie".

“Annie did what God sent her here to do,” said Clay. “He called her home. It’s so simple. She died instantly. He called her home.”

Clay says her focus is on remembering her granddaughter and not on being angry with the suspect.

"That man is in Hell already. He's gotta be. If he can hit little girls and see that and know the guilt of it, he's already in Hell,” said Clay. "But I do know that death and life lie in God's hands, so he might've been in the vehicle but God just took her home."

Sarah Drewery, an experienced ICU nurse, witnessed the aftermath of the crash and says she couldn't pass it by. She got out and checked one girl's pulse as another bystander did CPR, knowing the outlook was grim.

"I just immediately saw these two young girls not moving and my heart just sunk," Drewery said.

Kimberly Stites is a neighbor of the children.

"I heard they were just coming back from the gas station," Stites said.

Stites says that convenience store sits no more than 100 yards from their front door. 

"It struck them so hard the little girl's pants were further down the street, Stites said. "Last night, they were jut trying to get all the info they could to make an accurate case. Very sad."

"My heart goes out to the family," Stites said. "I can't imagine what they were going through."

The first court appearance for Ortega-Santos is scheduled for Thursday.

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