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."


Cleveland's Mosby Pool Should Be Open To Public On Thursday After Many Delays

Dave Sheldon, head of the company contracted to construct the Mosby Pool, told the Cleveland City Council on Monday afternoon that the pool should be able to open to the public on Thursday. Many parents in the community have been frustrated because the pool was originally scheduled to be completed before summer started so that their children could enjoy it.  Councilman ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANDERSON, ADRIAN D     1725 NORTH CONCORD RD APT A CHATTANOOGA, 37421     37     Chattanooga          PUBLIC INTOXICATION ANDERSON, TREMAINE     4000 FAGAN ST CHATTANOOGA, 37410     23    ... (click for more)

Senator Bob Corker: An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Wamp Refuses To Stoop

With less than two weeks before the Aug. 7 th election and the last week of early voting now underway in Hamilton County, Congressional challenger Weston Wamp sounded upbeat and relaxed early yesterday afternoon. “I’m pleased to say that I believe we are right where we need to be … maybe even more than we had hoped.” Wamp, who is challenging two-term incumbent Chuck Fleishmann ... (click for more)

Prep Football Practice Starts Today

Coaches barking instructions, players blocking and tackling, quarterbacks and receivers working on timing routes and error-free handoffs to fleet-footed running backs.   In the greater Chattanooga area and throughout the state it can mean just one thing. It’s time for Prep Football 2014.   Today is the first official day ... (click for more)

NPSL National Championship To Be Played At Red Bulls Arena

The NPSL announced on Monday that the national championship match between Chattanooga FC and the Red Bulls U23 will be played on Saturday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.  The match will be played following an MLS match between New York Red Bulls and the New England Revolution.   Local fans took to social media to appeal for the game to be played in Chattanooga. ... (click for more)