KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Days after a Houston truck driver was charged with vehicular homicide in the death of Loudon County Sgt. Chris Jenkins, investigators have charged a second driver for failing to secure a ladder that the late deputy was attempting to move from the roadway when he was fatally struck.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol announced that Sonny Beason, 35, of Loudon County has been arrested in the ongoing investigation into Jenkins’ death. THP says he was the driver of a utility truck carrying an unsecured orange ladder which other drivers reported seeing fall from the vehicle and block part of northbound I-75 near mile marker 73.
Beason was charged with three counts of misdemeanor reckless endangerment and driving on a suspended license. His bond was set at $8,500 and he was taken to the Monroe County Jail.
Drivers called in the hazard and two different vehicles hit the ladder before Sgt. Jenkins responded to the scene.
Jenkins used his cruiser as a rolling roadblock. While he was out of his vehicle to clear the roadway, an oncoming tractor-trailer driven by 43-year-old Christopher Savannah failed to slow down for the rolling roadblock and struck two vehicles, Jenkin’s patrol unit, and Jenkins.
Savannah, of Houston, Texas, is charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication, vehicular homicide by recklessness, two counts of reckless endangerment, DUI, simple possession, possession of a handgun under the influence, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Savannah is being held on a $1 million dollar bond after the Monday morning hearing.
A preliminary has been scheduled for Savannah on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. at the Roane County Courthouse, according to 9th District Attorney Russell Johnson.