Shanae Moorman: Man charged with murder in crash that killed ex-cheerleader
Shanae Moorman was a fun and vivacious 25-year-old who overcame life-threatening struggles with cystic fibrosis to be a top cheerleading talent at the University of Louisville. Just two years removed from the university, Moorman was planning big things for her life. People who knew her --- or just encountered her -- said she "lit up the room" at Z Salon and Spa, where she worked.
But an early morning car crash on August 6, 2016 abruptly ended her life. Police initially thought it was a single-occupant car crash attributed to Moorman not wearing a seat belt -- and local media immediately reported it as such. But then they began to dig deeper.
When police investigated further they found that the mangled 2014 Honda Accord was actually driven by someone else that night.
Moorman was a passenger in a car driven with "excessive speed" by her companion Bradley Caraway, 34.
Caraway's bond was lowered from $100,000 to $20,000 and he was released from jail, WDRB reports. He will wait for trial on "house incarceration." His vehicle will be kept away from him and used as evidence.
Caraway tried to exit I-65 to I-265 and lost control, police said. The vehicle tumbled on its side, then flipped with Moorman being thrown from the vehicle. When first responders arrived on the scene, Moorman was pinned under the vehicle. She was pronounced dead on the scene.
Meanwhile Caraway "fled the scene," according to Louisville TV station WDRB. He was later apprehended, smelled strongly of alcohol and appeared to be drunk, according to police.
Now we are learning that Bradley Caraway, 34, had a blood-alcohol level "at least" twice the legal limit in the state of Kentucky, according to court records obtained by WDRB-TV. He is facing murder charges along with failure to stop and render assistance and other charges in Moorman's death.
The duo was at a nearby bar in Matthews, Kentucky, according to receipts retrieved by police. It also appears that Moorman handed her credit card to a third person to buy drinks, but she did not sign for them.
Louisville cheer coach Todd Sharp said in a statement that Shanae will "forever be loved and missed."
"Shanae was a light in the life of everyone that knew her," the statement, obtained by the Louisville Courier-Journal, said. "Her energy, enthusiasm and grit was contagious. A true fighter, she had battled Cystic Fibrosis her entire life. We are so grateful for the time we had Shanae here with us. She will forever be loved and missed!"
Sharp, speaking to WAVE-TV, also said, "I cannot tell you how many fans would stop me at games in the last two years and ask where Shanae is. Shanae battled cystic fibrosis her entire life and she didn't want pity for that, or sympathy, but she was such an ambassador that gave so much hope. She defied odds and became a national champion cheerleader at UofL while battling this disease."
Days later, hundreds attended Canaan Christian Church for Moorman's funeral. Attendees, many of them decked out in Louisville Cardinal red, paid their respects to a young woman who was poised to make a difference in the world. But alas, now she is resting.
"Shanae, take your rest," said the Rev. Woodrow McElvaney, who eulogized Moorman. "You did a good job. You brought us all great joy. Shanae, you were a gift from above."
"I don't want any of us to be worried about Bradley Caraway," McElvaney said, according to the Courier-Journal. "God will deal with that."
"I want you to forgive," he said in a comment that drew murmurs of "Amen" from the crowd. "We don't yet know what God will do in the life of that young man."
Another preacher, the Rev. Andreas Price, said this, the Courier-Journal reports: "Shanae Moorman has joined another cheerleading squad."
"This is probably one of the hardest things I've had to do," Moorman's mother, also a former Cardinals cheerleader, said, trying hard to compose herself. "I knew this day would probably come because of her disease. I just didn't know it would be this early. My daughter was an angel ... Is an angel."