National Transportation Safety Board Told That Truck Driver In Deadly Ooltewah Wreck Had Had 7 Crashes In Past 3 Years; Was On Meth When 6 Were Killed

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The truck driver who caused a wreck on I-75 at the Ooltewah exit killing six people was traveling at a speed of up to 82 miles per hour and was on meth, investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday.

The board conducted an extensive hearing on the June 25, 2015, accident that involved nine vehicles.

Investigators also said driver Benjamin Brewer had been fired from another trucking firm for drug use, and he had seven crashes in the past three years, including three in trucks. They said under the Kentucky driver system that the hiring company and insurance carrier were not made aware of all of Brewer's prior wrecks.

The board was told that Brewer had gone without rest for 40 hours prior to slamming into a line of vehicles stopped at a construction site. He was en route home to London, Ky.

The report said the Tennessee Department of Transportation had posted the required warnings at the work site and was not at fault.

Investigators said the Brewer truck went 448 feet from the point of impact of the first vehicle struck before coming to rest.

They said there was no indication that he tried to apply the brakes.

Brewer falsified his log book of the trip, it was stated.

One member of the board said of the report on the Ooltewah wreck, "Each page I turned I became more and more incredulous at the intentional disregard for safety."

Brewer is being held in jail in Chattanooga on 13 counts, including six vehicular homicide charges.

A number of lawsuits have been filed.

 


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