Truck Driver Faces Mountain of Charges in Death of Police Officer
Loudon County, TN — A Texas truck driver is facing a mountain of charges following a deadly incident in Tennessee on Thursday that left a 20 year law enforcement veteran dead.
The fatal incident took place Thursday morning in the northbound lanes of Interstate 75 near the Tennessee River bridge around mile marker 74.
According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), Loudon County Sergeant Chris Jenkins responded to a call to remove a ladder that had fallen onto the roadway.
While outside of his patrol vehicle, he was struck by a semi-truck driven by Christopher Savannah, 43, of Houston, TX, who had failed to slow for the rolling roadblock.
Savannah’s semi also struck Sgt. Jenkins’ patrol unit and two other vehicles.
Tragically, Sgt. Jenkins was pronounced dead at the scene and one other driver was injured, THP reported.
As a result of the crash, northbound lanes if I-75 were shut down around 8 a.m. and traffic was diverted during cleanup and a preliminary investigation.
According to officials from the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO), Savannah was formally charged Thursday evening 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.
He was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the incident, THP reported.
LCSO posted a photo to its social media, stating THP officials used Sgt. Jenkins’ handcuffs to arrest the trucker as he was taken into custody.
Savannah is currently being held at the Roane County Detention Facility.
According to local outlet WATE, Sft. Jenkins has served the residents of Loudon County since 2002, where he started his career as a corrections officer.
He was quickly promoted to patrol in 2003, and became a K-9 handler for LCSO in 2007.
Sgt. Jenkins earned Patrol Supervisor of the Year in 2017, was promoted to corporal in 2018, and then again in 2019 to Sergeant.