Driver accused of DUI, murder of tow truck driver faces judge - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Driver accused of DUI, murder of tow truck driver faces judge

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Jewan Turner (Source: Facebook) Jewan Turner (Source: Facebook)
Waddell Elliott (Source: WAVE 3 News) Waddell Elliott (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Stephen Strong (Source: WAVE 3 News) Stephen Strong (Source: WAVE 3 News)

 LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – With lights flashing, police say a tow truck operator would have been easy to spot near the Gene Snyder Freeway Thursday night, but his death leaves a woman charged with drunk driving and murder.

Jailed in isolation and under observation, 53-year-old Paula Oppel left her cell to hear her lawyer’s plea that $25,000 in cash is too high a bail for her charged of murder. The judge said her family could put up property worth $50,000.

“We just feel like that’s a slap in the face,” Waddell Elliott said. He said his nephew, Jewan Turner, was more like a brother.

Turner was towing a car on Beulah Church Road when he was killed. Police say Oppel first hit the car he was towing, and then hit him.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Woman charged with murder of tow truck driver

Fellow tow truck drivers say accidents like the one that killed Turner are far too common. Stephen Strong of Suburban Towing said last year seven police officers and 12 EMS workers were killed on the side of the road. “But there were 52 wrecker drivers killed,” he said. “That’s one a week.”

Other drivers will hold a fundraising drive on July 6 to help pay for funeral expenses for Turner.

Oppel will appear in court again on July 15. Elliott said he would prefer to have justice for his nephew immediately, but knows that it will be a long process. “I’m mad at her,” he said. “But also, I’m praying for her.”

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