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Pedestrian Fatally Struck at PGA Championship in Louisville; Golfer Scottie Scheffler Arrested

Published on May 20, 2024 by Thomas Law Offices.

Pedestrian Fatally Struck at PGA Championship in Louisville; Golfer Scottie Scheffler Arrested

While the 2024 PGA Championship over this past weekend should have been a joyous occasion given how golfer Xander Schauffele won the first major of his career, for many others, it will be remembered instead for the tragic event that happened there. This past Friday, May 17, just before Round 2 of the tournament was set to get underway at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, KY, a 69-year-old Crestwood resident, John Mills, was struck and killed. The decedent, who was slated to work as a security guard on behalf of a Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) vendor that fateful morning, lost their life after apparently being struck by a shuttle bus.

The fatal pedestrian accident has gained nationwide coverage since it first broke just after 5 a.m. Friday morning due in large part to one of the highest-ranked golfers, Scottie Scheffler, being arrested for trying to navigate around the crash when he came upon it.

What We Know About the PGA Vendor

Early reports, such as this Sports Business Journal article, suggest that the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) was summoned near the main entrance of Valhalla Golf Club, located at 15503 Shelbyville Road, just after 5 a.m. on Friday morning. When the police and emergency responders arrived, they found the decedent lying motionless in a dedicated bus lane where he’d apparently been struck while crossing the street. The PGA vendor was pronounced dead at the scene.

What Led Up to the Pedestrian Being Hit at Valhalla Golf Club?

Right now, an investigation continues into what happened in the moments leading up to this fatal collision between the reported shuttle bus and the now-deceased PGA vendor. The latest is that the victim was crossing the road to access the golf course’s main entrance on Shelbyville Road and that they’d almost fully cleared the roadway when they were fatally struck.

It’s unclear what contributed to the shuttle driver missing seeing the pedestrian before they struck them.

According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, we do have J-walking laws in our state that require pedestrians to walk on the shoulder of highways without shoulders, as far from the road’s edge as possible. At the same time, police investigators will assuredly investigate whether visibility issues, bus driver impairment, speed, vehicle maintenance concerns, or other factors played a role in causing this fatal collision.

How the Pedestrian’s Fatality Impacted the Golf Tournament Schedule

Shelbyville Road was closed to through traffic in the immediate aftermath of the crash. Shuttles were still transported the golf championship attendees between the Kentucky Expo Center and Valhalla Golf Club but on a delayed basis. Additionally, the PGA announced that they’d delayed some many of the Round 2 tee times, in part, to allow individuals to make it to the venue and out of respect for the crash victim and his loved ones.

Why Golfer Scottie Scheffler Got Arrested at the 2024 PGA Championship

As referenced in the title, in an interesting turn of events, the then No. 1 ranked golfer and the person who many expected to win this golf tournament, Scottie Scheffler, was arrested in the hours following this fatal pedestrian accident in Louisville. He was taken into custody by LMPD after attempting to drive his PGA courtesy car onto a median to get around the crash and make it to his workout session in advance of his scheduled Round 2 tee time at Valhalla Golf Club.

While apparently not directly involved in causing the crash, a CNN report about the matter shows that he was arrested and charged with multiple criminal offenses, including:

  • Assault on a police officer (a second-degree felony)
  • Criminal mischief (a third-degree misdemeanor)
  • Disregarding signals from officers directing traffic
  • Reckless driving charges

Following processing at the Jefferson County Jail, Scheffler was allowed to return to the tournament just before for his group’s delayed tee time.

In interviews after he’d finished playing for the day, Scheffler said that he wanted to, first and foremost, send his condolences to the victim and his friends and family.

He then, in answering reporters’ questions, admitted to not being aware of the crash that had occurred, claiming Mills’ life when he first approached the golf course. He said that he was just confused by everything that was happening, trying to follow the police officers’ orders, who he claims were waiving him onward toward the entrance of the golf course. He apologized for misunderstanding their directions. As we’re publishing this, Scheffler’s next court date for his pending charges is in a few weeks.

Getting Help if a Kentucky Pedestrian Accident Injured You or Claimed a Loved One’s Life

Here at Thomas Law Offices, we want to extend our sympathy to the friends and family members of John Mills, who died in this crash. As a personal injury law firm in Louisville, we have the unfortunate experience of having to meet individuals who’ve suffered catastrophic injuries or prematurely lost loved ones all too often in pedestrian accidents like this.

If you have similarly been hurt or had a family member who’s died in a similar incident, we want to support you. Meeting with our attorneys to learn more about your rights is completely free.

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At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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