Victim identified, charges possible in Southern Parkway road rag - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Victim identified, charges possible in Southern Parkway road rage incident

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The blue Dodge involved and the tree it impacted. (Source: Dale Mader, WAVE 3 News) The blue Dodge involved and the tree it impacted. (Source: Dale Mader, WAVE 3 News)
Another view of the crash scene. (Source: Dale Mader, WAVE 3 News) Another view of the crash scene. (Source: Dale Mader, WAVE 3 News)
Surveillance video from Sassy's Liquors showing the two cars shortly before the crash. (Source: Sassy Liqours) Surveillance video from Sassy's Liquors showing the two cars shortly before the crash. (Source: Sassy Liqours)
Police looking at the Chrysler 300 involved in the incident. (Source: Dale Mader, WAVE 3 News Police looking at the Chrysler 300 involved in the incident. (Source: Dale Mader, WAVE 3 News
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Jefferson County Coroner identified the man who died in a road rage incident on July 8, but police will not release the name of the second driver because charges have not been filed in the case. A Louisville Metro Police Department spokesman said the agency is consulting with the Commonwealth Attorney's office to determine whether the surviving driver will be charged with any crimes.

The victim, Justin Beeler, 29, of Louisville, died after crashing his car into a tree. 

According to Dwight Mitchell, a Louisville Metro Police Department spokesman, the crash was reported around 12:30 p.m. July 8 in the 3800 block of Southern Parkway. Michael Mitchell and his wife, Melissa Mitchell, said they heard the crash and found the blue Dodge on fire and the man inside dead.

"I couldn't get a response out of him," said Michael Mitchell.

"The whole front end of his car is sitting on his chest area," said Melissa Mitchell.

Police said the preliminary investigation showed both Beeler and the driver of a silver Chrysler 300 were traveling north on Southern Parkway at a high rate of speed, and Beeler was firing shots at the other car. Several bullet holes were seen in the Chrysler. 

Michelle Adams described what she witnessed Tuesday afternoon: "It looked like he was doing 100 miles per hour. I don't know. He was going fast."

Police aren't sure where the conflict started. Witnesses said the two were at Sissy's Liquor Store about a block from the crash scene. 

Richard Briney, who has worked at Sissy's for 19 years, said Beeler, the man killed in the crash, was a regular customer.

"Bought a Pepsi and some cigars and left," Briney said of Beeler's final visit to the store. "Just makes me feel bad."

Video from the store surveillance system shows the two cars outside the business. It also shows there may have been a brief exchange between the men, but not much else. Witnesses said the man in the silver Chrysler may have been a law enforcement officer, but LMPD’s Mitchell said on July 9 that was not the case. So far, no other law enforcement agency has identified the driver of the silver car as an employee.

Michelle Adams said Beeler's mother showed up not long after the crash and asked her what she witnessed.

"She said that just wasn't like her son," said Adams. "He just didn't do things like that."

The LMPD Traffic Unit is handling the crash investigation. Police talked to the driver of the Chrysler, who was not injured, to find out what he had to say about the incident. 

This is the second case of road rage in Louisville in a month. Donald Hayes pleaded not guilty to shooting Danny Wilson to death in a road rage incident on Poplar Level Road June 21. 

The following day, David Boggs captured cell phone video of a violent scene on Interstate 71 near Carrollton when a man was hunched over trying to protect himself after a another man threw several punches.

"Sparks were flying. Crash up derby on I-71," said Boggs.

And that's not all. Early on July 9 in Indianapolis, police were looking for a man who chased another driver and shot him. Witnesses saw the two arguing between their cars before the victim tried to flee. The suspect pulled alongside and fired into the victim's car.

"There's no reason to shoot someone over an argument,“ said Sgt. Kendale Adams of the Indianapolis Metro Police Department. “This is just another example of senseless act that could have been prevented."

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