Vehicular Homicide Charge Dismissed In Chattanooga Death Of Prominent Knoxville Architect After TBI Lab Mixup

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A vehicular homicide charge involving the death of a prominent Knoxville architect on a Chattanooga roadway has been dismissed after a TBI lab mixup.

Dale Ferrell, 21, of Steen, Miss., had also been charged with DUI after his Toyota struck a motorcycle driven by 58-year-old Ed Bankston on I-75 near Lee Highway in March.

The two indictments were returned after a report from the TBI Crime Lab listed the blood-alcohol level of Ferrell at 0.24 - or "triple drunk" under the state standard of .08.

However, attorney Jerry Summers had the blood tested at an independent lab and it came back .01 - well below the drunk level.

DUI Prosecutor Kate Lavery said, based on that new evidence, both charges were dismissed.

She said Ferrell admitted speeding and being inattentive and distracted, but she indicated it is unlikely that he will face additional charges.

The two charges have already been expunged.

Prosecutor Lavery said the Ferrell blood was mixed up with that of another individual. She said the TBI lab is retesting all of the blood sampled by the agent involved, Kyle Bayer, but it is expected that this was the only mix-up.

Kristin Helm of the TBI said, "Bayer was suspended pending an internal investigation. We are waiting for the sample to be resubmitted to us to retest as part of our investigation. We do believe that it is an isolated incident and that if the established protocol for testing the samples had been followed, an error could not have occurred."

The incident happened on a Saturday at approximately 1:58 p.m. Chattanooga Police responded to a traffic crash in the 900 block of I-75.

Police said, "Evidence at the scene and witness statements found that a motorcycle driven by Mr. Bankston was southbound on the inside lane of traffic. A Toyota driven by Dale Ferrell was also in the inside lane and struck the rear of Mr. Bankston’s motorcycle causing him to lose control. Mr. Bankston was killed as a result of his injuries from the crash."


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALE, IAN TAYLOR 8452 EAST BRAINERD ROAD CHATTANOOGA, 37421 27 Soddy Daisy POSSESSION OF METHAMPHETAMINE ALLEN, ANDRE ANTHONY 3407 GAIL DRIVE EAST RIDGE, 37412 27 Chattanooga VIOLATION OF PROBATION (DRIVING ON REVOKED LICENSE APOLINAR, KEVIN JOSE 1313 HIXSON PIKE APT3 CHATTANOOGA, ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BAGGETT, EMILY MICHELLE 14431 DAYTON PIKE SALE CREEK, 37373 22 Hamilton County PROMOTING MANUFACTURING METHAMPHETAMINE PROMOTING MANUFACTURING METHAMPHETAMINE BUTLER, NATASHA COLLEEN 816 ROANOKE AVENUE CHATTANOOGA, 37404 30 Chattanooga VANDALISM/MALICIOUS MISCHIEF CAMPBELL, CHRISTOPHER ... (click for more)

It's Time To Insure Tennessee - And Response

Tennessee has a problem.  What is the value of saving the lives of 1,000 Tennesseans each year? That is exactly what can be expected if 176,000 Tennesseans gain health insurance through Insure Tennessee. A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that expansion of Medicaid was associated with a 6% reduction in yearly mortality for people in the 34-65 age group. Statistically, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Boots, Idiots & Guns

As the month of February was born this morning, allow me to hurriedly share three leftovers that were still in last month’s basket: * * * A first-grade teacher had endured a long day and was helping her students bundle up for the trip home when one of the little boys asked for help getting on his boots. Soon she could see why. Even with her pulling, and him pushing, the ... (click for more)

Cleveland Wins Third Straight AAA State Duals Title Over Wilson Central

FRANKLIN – Jake Yost is batting a thousand in State Duals championship matches. Just call it a three-peat for the Cleveland Blue Raiders after Saturday night’s 35-26 win over Wilson Central here at the Williamson County Agricultural Expo Center. It was also the third straight time that the Wildcats had finished as the runner-up to Cleveland, but Saturday night’s battle was ... (click for more)

Baylor Edges Father Ryan for State Duals Wrestling Title

FRANKLIN – In an epic TSSAA D-II state duals finals which came down to the final two matches, defending champion Baylor relied on its Murderers’ Row, composed of three state champions, earlier in the match to edge Father Ryan, 32-30 for the state championship here Saturday night at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center. Trailing, 15-7 after six matches, Baylor then gained a ... (click for more)