Connersville hit-and-run victim calling for justice, waiting for closure as case heads toward plea deal

A Connersville hit & run victim is seeking closure. (WISH Photo)

CONNERSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) –¬†Developments in a Fayette County hit-and-run case stemming from a 2015 bar incident left the victim “disappointed,” he said ahead of a change of plea hearing scheduled for Tuesday.

Chuck Woodward, a longtime Connersville resident, suffered extensive injuries when he was struck twice by a Ford Explorer in an alley behind Ozzie’s Bar on North Central Avenue.

Jordan Wadle, the Connersville man driving the vehicle, was later arrested and charged with felonies including aggravated battery, DUI and leaving the scene of an accident, according to court records.

The incident began with an argument inside the bar, Woodward told 24-Hour News 8, adding he had never met Wadle before.

He and his wife returned to the scene of the alleged attack Monday, nearly two years after it happened, and noted the guardrail was still dented where his body had been crushed into it by Wadle’s vehicle.

“This guardrail basically saved my life,” said Woodward. “I would have been pinned against the [brick wall]. I thought I was going to die.”

He briefly stopped breathing as he was being airlifted to the hospital and was later comatose for weeks, his family revealed.

His wife described his survival as a “miracle” and said Monday marked the first time she had been able to bear the thought of returning to the alley behind Ozzie’s.

“We just want the court to be fair,” said Woodward. “If [prosecutors] don’t make [Wadle] take responsibility for his actions, he’ll do this again to someone else. If you do the crime, you gotta do the time. That’s the way I see it.”

If a proposed plea deal is accepted during Tuesday’s hearing, Wadle could plead guilty to single level 3 felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident while intoxicated behind the wheel and causing serious bodily injury, instead of being tried on multiple felony charges.

A level 3 felony in Indiana carries a prison sentence of three to 16 years.

Fayette County Prosecutor Bette Jones and attorneys representing Jordan Wadle could not be reached for comment.