New Trial Date To Be Selected In Case Of Ooltewah Wreck In Which 6 People Were Killed

Monday, June 19, 2017

A new trial date will be chosen soon for the Benjamin Brewer trial, which was set to begin today in the courtroom of Judge Don Poole, but was delayed after the defense said it discovered new evidence.

Judge Poole said Monday he did not fault either side for the delay, but said it was necessary to assure that the defendant receives a fair trial.

The initial jury will be dismissed and a new one chosen later in Nashville.

The defense said it learned that the National Transportation Safety Board tested Brewer's blood from the time of the wreck and found a lower level of meth and amphetamine than a test by the TBI.

The TBI test showed .08 micrograms per milliliter of meth and less than .05 micrograms per milliliter of amphetamine.

The defense said the NTSB sent the blood to a lab that found .045 micrograms per milliliter of meth and less than .022 micrograms per milliliter of amphetamine.

The TBI test was last July 16. The NTSB test was Nov. 10. 

The defense said it needs time to study the results of the NTSB and to call a lab worker as a witness.

The defense said it did not learn about the NTSB test until late in the day on Wednesday.

The prosecution said it was not provided a copy of the NTSB report. It said the public defender's office earlier said it had a copy of NTSB documents.

The public defender's office is representing Brewer, who is from Kentucky.

Brian Gallaher, band director for Ocoee Middle School in Cleveland, was among those killed in a 9-vehicle crash on northbound Interstate 75 near the Ooltewah exit. He was in a 2010 Toyota Prius.

Also killed was Jason Ramos, assistant director of residential life at Dalton State. He was on his way home to Brunswick, Ohio, for vacation, traveling in a 2003 Mazda station wagon.

Sisters Savannah and Kelsey, eight and 10, were also among the fatalities. They were killed along with two other occupants of the same 2010 Toyota Scion. They were Tiffany Watts, 31, of Morristown, Tn., and Sandra Anderson, 50, of Rutledge, Tn. Ms. Watts was the mother and Ms. Anderson the grandmother of the girls. The two children were living in California with their father. This was the only vehicle in the wreck that caught fire. One woman from the Scion was ejected, and the others died in the fire.

Police said the tragic accident at Ooltewah on Thursday night was caused when a tractor-trailer slammed into eight vehicles stopped for a construction project.  

The driver of the 2007 Peterbuilt semi was identified as Benjamin Scott Brewer, 39, of London, Ky. He and his female companion, Charity Dawn Pennington, 38, were not injured.

There were a total of 18 individuals involved. Six individuals were medically treated or transported to local hospitals, and six required no medical treatment.

Those with non-life threatening injuries were Marty Tumbleson and Charles Allen Daniels Jr. of Tennessee in a GMC Savana van, John and Nancy Stanley of Mississippi in a 2007 Chevy Highlander minivan, Ryan Humphries of Tennessee in a 2001 Ford F150, and Justin Knox of Mississippi in a 2015 Cadillac TS.

Also involved in the wreck with no injuries were Travis and Tina Close and their two minor children. They were in a 2015 Toyota Tundra. There were 12 people injured in all.




Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMSON, PHILLIP TROY  1282 TATUM GULF MINLOW,  Age at Arrest: 45 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC ASSAULT --- AGUILAR, ADELSO ALBERTO  907 S WILLOW ST CHATTANOOGA, 374043632  Age at Arrest: 39 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED ... (click for more)

Latest Bradley County Jail Booking Report

Click  here  for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)

Liberal Conspiracy Afoot

According to Roy Exum’s Sunday column, there are now upwards of six or seven Democrats in Hamilton County, and all of them have secretly maneuvered their way onto the boards of a couple of dozen local organizations. Unlike Republicans, some of them serve on multiple boards and some of them serve with one another on the same boards. This is outrageous. We all know that boards and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Please Don’t Get Numb

Several weeks ago we woke up to learn there had been another shooting in Chattanooga and the next day there were two paragraphs on the fourth page of the newspaper.  It has become so common we as a society have grown numb to it and, when a teen-aged girl in Texas said she wasn’t surprised last week when eight students and two teachers were massacred in her school some 30 miles ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Christian, Silverdale Fall In Division II-A State Softball

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – It was a rough day at the Division II-A girls state softball tournament for Silverdale and Chattanooga Christian. Both teams suffered one big inning by their opponents and quickly fell into the loser’s bracket, making the road back to title contention paved with potholes. After a 45-minute delay starting their game, Chattanooga Christian took it on the ... (click for more)

Baylor, McCallie Both Win In D-II Baseball

LEBANON, Tenn. – It will be another Baylor-McCallie battle here at Wilson Central High School Wednesday afternoon at 12:30 in the winner’s bracket of the Division II-AA baseball state championship. Baylor opened play with an 8-2 victory over Christian Brothers while McCallie posted an impressive 5-1 win over Memphis University School in the second game, despite having to sit ... (click for more)