LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A dedicated husband, father of three and a local coach is killed, and his friend hospitalized, after police said a drunk driver slammed into their golf cart.
That driver, Lazaro Pozzo Illas, appeared in court Monday to face a murder charge.
Members of Louisville’s Catholic community told WAVE 3 News on Monday they were stunned after hearing the news.
It all happened before 4 p.m. Sunday in the 2300 block of Pee Wee Reese Road at Seneca Golf Course, when police said Illas hit the golf cart so hard that both men inside were ejected from the vehicle.
“Complete shock when I heard about it,” Blaine Ratterman said of the moment he heard Chris Schulz was dead.
Monday, the Rev. Dave Harris told WAVE 3 News, it was a devasting day for St. Albert the Great Catholic School and Church after hearing good friend, beloved family man and former boys’ Athletic Director Chris Schulz was killed.
“He cared about the kids at the end of the day, it was all about the kids,” he said.
Ratterman, a St. Albert Girls’ Athletic Director, said the two coached their daughters in everything from flag football to basketball, where they won a city championship. Schulz had a well-known approach to coaching.
“Let the kids get better as a player, but more importantly, grow as teammates and leaders,” Ratterman said.
That care led Schulz to start “Parent to Prosper,” where he helped coach families through life. Ratterman said when he heard a suspected drunken driver had slammed into Schulz’s golf cart at the Seneca course, it didn’t seem real.
“Your questions are, 'How could this have happened?” said Ratterman, who grew up golfing at Seneca. “I put myself in that same situation the hundreds or thousands of times. I’ve walked across that very path going to the clubhouse to the first hole.”
In court Monday, a judge spoke to Illas through an interpreter, after he shook his head, not understanding why he was charged with murder.
“His actions allegedly caused the death of someone as well as serious physical injury to another person,” the judge explained.
Illas then told the interpreter, “There’s no stop sign or nothing there,” prompting the judge and prosecutor to tell the interpreter, “he needs to stop talking.”
The area has golf cart warning signs, crosswalk markers and speed limit signs of 25 miles per hour.
It has been a rough two years for the St. Albert community. Another father, Kevin Chitwood, who was also very active in the church, died in 2017 during a trip to the beach, as he was saving his daughter from drowning.