Update: Child Killed in Bradley Crash Identified - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Update: Child Killed in Bradley Crash Identified

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BRADLEY COUNTY (WRCB) - The Bradley County Sheriff's office said the 7-year-old victim, Haley Nicole Valenzuela, was the child killed in Tuesday's single-vehicle crash on Old McClure Road. Valenzuela was partially ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the vehicle, a 1996 Toyota 4 Runner SUV, was Buddy Franklin Ricketts, 32, of Cleveland. He was treated and released at Sky Ridge Medical Center.

Two other children were also present in the vehicle at the time of the crash. Police say they are identified as Jacob Taylor, 5, and Shayann D. Forgey, 8.  LifeForce transported Taylor to T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital, where he is reported to be in serious but stable condition. Forgey was transported to SkyRidge Medical Center by BCEMS where she was treated and released.

At the time of the crash, Ricketts was delivering newspapers for the Cleveland Daily Banner as a contract employee. Police say it is reported the children were assisting him with the delivery. 

Police say Ricketts is reported to be the boyfriend of Trisha Taylor, mother of Jacob Taylor. She and Ricketts, along with Michelle Forgey, mother of Shayann Forgey, are all reported to be contracted Banner delivery carriers. None of the children are reported to be related to each other or to Ricketts.

BCSO Traffic Unit Investigator, Deputy Tony Cameron said speed was at least one contributing factor to the crash and not all children were properly restrained. The investigation is continuing and charges against the driver are pending.


BRADLEY COUNTY (WRCB) - Speeding was likely a factor in a fatal Bradley County crash according to traffic investigators.

"Prior to flipping, the vehicle struck a tree one time and then rolled over a few times," Bradley County Sheriff's Department Traffic Investigator Anthony Cameron said.

He says the investigation is continuing, but at this time it does not appear than anyone inside the Toyota 4Runner was buckled up, which Cameron said could have made all of the difference.

 "Statistically seatbelts save lives," he said.


BRADLEY COUNTY (WRCB) -- A child has died in a Bradley County crash.

Sheriff Tim Gobble tells Eyewitness News that the single car wreck happened on Old McClure Road around 2:15 p.m. near the Polk County line. The driver had three children in the car. Sheriff Gobble says one child died at the scene. Paramedics rushed the two other children to T.C. Thompson Children's hospital. The adult driver was taken to Skyridge Medical Center in Cleveland.

As of 5 p.m., investigators were still on the scene of the crash. No cause for the wreck has been determined.   

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