A vehicle went off the side of Signal Mountain on Thursday night, claiming the life of the driver.
He was identified as attorney Joseph Wagner. Mr. Wagner was still a practicing attorney at the age of 97. He was the Signal Mountain town attorney for over half a century.
It was difficult for rescue crews to reach the smashed 2008 Ford near Ridgeway Drive. The car hit a boulder and flipped over.
The victim was wearing his safety belt.
Troopers said there was no evidence that he applied his brakes as he veered off Signal Mountain Road.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, at 2 p.m. at St. Augustine Catholic Church. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday. Chattanooga Funeral Home, East Chapel is handling arrangements.
Attorney Wagner was a longtime resident of Signal Mountain.
Two of his sons, Richard Wagner and Mike Wagner, practice law in Chattanooga.
He retired in 2002 as Signal Mountain town attorney.
At the time, he recalled that his father was also an attorney. He was born in East Lake, and the family moved to Signal Mountain when he was two. His father bought what has become known as Hedges Orchard, now a subdivision off James Boulevard.
After graduating from college, Mr. Wagner received a scholarship to UT law school, graduated in 1940 and passed the bar exam. One application for work was to the FBI which responded favorably and after three months training in Washington, D.C. he was stationed in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Montana, Idaho and Washington, D.C.
After World War II, he resigned from the FBI and returned home to practice law in partnership with the late Bill Weeks and David Nelson. The partnership later included Brad Weeks, son of Bill Weeks, David Nelson and sons Richard and Mike Wagner.
Mr. Wagner married during World War II and he and his wife had nine children, four sons, Robert, Michael, Richard and Jonathan, and five daughters, Sissy Coleman, Alice Evans, Kathleen Robinson, Mary Jo Richie and Patricia Wagner.