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 - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANGLE, NIKIA MARIE 3125 BENNETT RD EAST RIDGE, 37421 23 Hamilton County THEFT OF PROPERTY ASHLEY, LAURA ANN 480 CEDAR STREET APT 11 DUNLAP, 37327 36 Red Bank POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA BROGDON, KEVIN LEON 1504 JOHN ROSS ROAD EAST RIDGE, 37412 24 East Ridge FILING FALSE ... (click for more)

Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For Oct. 17-23

Here is the Fort Oglethorpe arrest report for Oct. 17-23: Jorge Zambrano Gonzalez, 37, of 1216 Helena Drive #8, Hixson was arrested October 16 on charges of driving while unlicensed and crossing median. Pedro Sepulveda, 42, of 854 Davis Street, Apt. E3, Gainsville, GA was arrested October 16 on charges of driving while license suspended and crossing median. Jonathan ... (click for more)

Not Everything Has Been Done To Save Hutcheson

I am a resident of Walker County and I have a personal belief that a hospital ranks equal to other basic services a community should offer (like police, fire, emergency services, school systems, government, etc.). I am not privy to all the management and financial conundrums concerning the feasibility of maintaining and growing Hutcheson, and as a private citizen I don’t believe ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Veterinarian’s Horse Sense

I suspect you’ve heard by now that a doctor in New York City, who volunteers with “Doctors Without Borders,” just got back from the African nation of Guinea on October 17 – last Friday – and on Thursday tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus. Luckily, he came in actual contact with only a few people but he reportedly rode a subway, took a taxi, went on a three-mile run and ... (click for more)

Freeman-Led Owls Whip Cleveland, 30-14, To Win 5-AAA Title

Junior Rashun Freeman's stunning versatility stole the show Friday night. Freeman caught a touchdown pass, returned a punt for a second score and had one of three Ooltewah interceptions as the fourth-ranked Owls whipped Cleveland, 30-14, to win the District 5-AAA championship in front of a near-capacity crowd at James N. Monroe Stadium. “I practice hard and that shows ... (click for more)

Baylor Beats Father Ryan For D-II State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Friday was a magical day for the Baylor Lady Red Raider volleyball team. Facing arch-rival Father Ryan for the fourth time this season, Baylor evened the score at 2-2, but the last time at Siegel High School was the sweetest as it came in the championship match of the D-II Class AA state tournament. Father Ryan had a huge group of students in its ... (click for more)