Latest crash on Muldraugh Hill inspires former crash victim’s husband to speak out, raise awareness against impaired driving

Latest crash on Muldraugh Hill inspires former crash victim’s husband to speak out, raise awareness against impaired driving
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 10:30 PM EST
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HARDIN COUNTY, Ky. (WAVE) - After a Sunday afternoon crash in Hardin County killed two children and injured their mother, a man who has experienced that loss in the past is trying to raise awareness about the dangers of impaired driving.

Hardin County Sheriff John Ward told WAVE News Angela Chapman was driving southbound on Dixie Highway when she crossed the center line and hit a car going north.

Ward said that car was carrying a pregnant mother and her one-year-old and two-year-old children.

The two toddlers were killed, while the mother was airlifted to UofL Hospital in serious condition.

Chapman was booked into the Hardin County Detention Center on two counts of murder, one count of assault and one count of operating a vehicle under the influence.

She pleaded not guilty during her arraignment Monday morning and is being held on a $500,000 cash bond.

News of Sunday’s crash reached Brian Conn, who knows the stretch of road known as Muldraugh Hill well.

A man who has experienced that loss in the past is trying to raise awareness about the dangers of impaired driving.

“It breaks my heart [to hear about the crash],” Conn said. “I know what they’re about to endure, and it’s not easy going to their 2nd and 3rd birthdays at a cemetery, instead of a Gatti’s pizza or Gattiland or something fun with presents. You end up at a cemetery and I can’t describe that feeling to anybody.”

Conn’s wife Christie Diaz and two of their three children were killed on May 26, 2020, when an impaired driver crossed the center line at the top of Muldraugh Hill and hit their car head-on.

“Shock, I mean, you’re in a complete fog of, this can’t be real,” Conn said.

Conn said he was working from home that day, waiting for his family to come home from celebrating Diaz’s 44th birthday.

He said a manager interrupted his call with a customer to tell him a Meade County dispatcher had news for him.

That call sparked a nearly 30-month emotional roller coaster, as Conn learned how to come to grips with his loss, while also coaching his surviving son Noah through the heartbreak.

“Noah is the only reason I’m here today,” Conn said. “And he’s my hero. He’s my hero. He’ll have nights where he wakes up, nightmare, screaming crying...you just got to be there for him. We talk about his mom and his brother and his sister all the time. So, he’s doing really well, better than me.”

Latest crash on Muldraugh Hill inspires former crash victim’s husband to speak out, raise awareness against impaired driving

Sunday’s wreck further inspired Conn to fight for change.

He told WAVE News in the past month, he’s contacted his state representative’s office, trying to get the concrete divider further extended along Muldraugh Hill.

He’s also trying to use his family’s story to raise awareness of the dangers of impaired driving, hoping to prevent other families from suffering the same fate.

“It’s not about your life,” Conn said. “It’s about the innocent lives of this 1 and 2-year-old kid that was taken yesterday, the innocent kids that were taken from my family. Don’t drive impaired.”