Truck Driver Makes Tennessee's 10 Most Wanted Listby Jana Ritter - Published: 8/07/2015
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is on the hunt for Kentucky truck driver, Benjamin Scott Brewer, who faces 13 charges related to the I-75 crash that killed six people earlier this summer. On June 26th 2015, Brewer was driving his 18-wheeler on the I-75 near Chattanooga, TN when he crashed into 8 vehicles stopped in a construction zone. An entire family was wiped out as a result of the crash: Tiffany Watts of Morristown, her young daughters who had been visiting from California and her mother, Sandra Anderson of Rutledge. Also killed were Brian Gallaher of Cleveland and Jason Ramos of Brunswick, Ohio.
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Earlier this week a Hamilton County grand jury indicted the 39 year-old truck driver from London, KY on six counts of vehicular homicide, four counts of reckless aggravated assault, one count of DUI by impairment of narcotics, one count of speeding and one count of false report of duty status. Since then, authorities have not been able to locate Brewer and on Thursday he was officially added to the bureau's 10 Most Wanted List. Although one can presume that the truck driver was simply trying to do his job and certainly had no intention of killing anyone, the circumstances of the crash are what has racked up the serious charges against him. According to the WRCB report released earlier this week, authorities concluded that sleep deprivation and drug use likely played a major role in the wreck. Not only did Brewer test positive for having crystal meth in his system at the time of the accident, police indicate they have reason to believe he had been clocked-in for 50 hours, far exceeding the 11 hour federal regulation. Yet again it seems that a truck driver trying to make a living has fallen into the trap of fatigued driving and falsifying logs - a legal nightmare which may seriously affect his entire life.
Sgt. Scott Shaver with the Tennessee Highway Patrol is fully aware of why some truck drivers resort to falsifying logs and he estimates that at least 5% of the industry does it. "The more miles they drive, the more money they make. They will try to fudge the log books just to make more money," Shaver said. But although he understands it, it doesn’t mean he isn’t going to stop trying to prevent it. He explains that troopers will often examine logbooks at weigh stations and in traffic stops. "It's very important, because fatigued driving can cause some very serious crashes," Shaver said. Shaver is also well aware that there are some truckers who will take stimulants such as crystal meth in order to drive longer distances but that it doesn’t really do much to counteract sleep deprivation.