UPDATE: Grandmother of youngest crash victims wants answers in I-75 fatal crash
UPDATE: The investigation continues into Thursday's fatal crash on Interstate 75.
Preliminary reports suggest a semi-truck traveling northbound near Ooltewah was unable to stop and hit 8 vehicles in a construction zone.
Six people were killed in the crash, including two children.
Channel 3 was contacted by the youngest victims' grandmother. She lives in Seattle and tells us the girls, ages 9 and 11, were in Tennessee visiting with their mother and her family.
After that visit -- they were going to fly to be with her in Seattle for the rest of the summer.
Sadly, that visit will not happen.
"We have a hard time understanding why he (the driver) could not see all those cars stopped in front of him," said Grandmother Kristi Garrigues.
Among the crash victims are sisters Kelsie and Savannah Garrigues from California.
Their mother and grandmother had just picked the girls up at the Atlanta airport for a six week visit.
Their paternal grandmother lives in Seattle, Washington.
Kristi Garrigues says the girls, ages 11 and 9, loved the outdoors.
"They loved being at the beach, they loved boating, they loved hiking quite often," Garrigues said, "They were totally outdoor girls."
Police say the driver of a semi-truck was unable to stop and crashed into 8 cars on 1-75.
Savannah and Kelsie Garrigues passed away along with their mother, Tiffany Watts, and grandmother Sandra Anderson.
Chattanooga police are now asking anyone who witnessed the crash -- to give them a call.
"We're using these callers to verify a lot of what we know, and we're also using these callers to elaborate on what we might not know yet," said Lt. David Gibb, Traffic Division of Chattanooga Police Department.
Investigators are now collecting crash data from all of the cars and semi-truck.
That information will tell the investigators if the brakes were working properly, when or if they were applied, and how fast the truck was going.
Police believe a man was driving and he had a female passenger on board.
"Based on the location of injury on the two parties in the vehicle and the damage inside of the vehicle, it's pretty fair to say that he was driving the vehicle," said Lt. Gibb.
The truck driver was interviewed after the crash and a blood sample was taken to test for any drugs or alcohol.
Those results have not come back yet.
"He appeared to be not quite right, but it's very hard to elaborate on that without seeing the blood work because everybody acts different."
Kristi Garrigues says the family is having a hard time accepting the girls are gone.
She wants to know what happened, why the truck did not stop.
The driver of the truck has returned home to Kentucky.
He has not been charged with a crime.
Investigators spent the day Monday completing inspections of the semi-truck and should have results sometime Tuesday.
Stay with Channel 3 for those results.
UPDATE: Chattanooga Police have released the identities of those involved in Thursday night's fatal accident on Interstate 75 in Ooltewah.
|2007 Peterbuilt Semi Truck w/ Trailer||Benjamin Scott Brewer (DRIVER)||39||KY||(no injuries)|
|2007 Peterbuilt Semi Truck w/ Trailer||Charity Dawn Pennington||38||KY||(no injuries)|
|2010 Toyota Prius||Brian Gallaher||37||TN||(deceased)|
|2005 GMC Savana Van||Marty Tumbleson||30||TN||NLT|
|2006 GMC Savana Van||Charles Allen Daniels Jr||41||TN||NLT|
|2010 Toyota Scion||Tiffany Watts||31||TN||(deceased)|
|2010 Toyota Scion||Kelsie Garrigues||11||CA||(deceased)|
|2010 Toyota Scion||Savannah Garrigues||9||CA||(deceased)|
|2010 Toyota Scion||Sandra Anderson||50||TN||(deceased)|
|2007 Chevy Uplander Minivan||John Stanley||57||MS||NLT|
|2007 Chevy Uplander Minivan||Nancy Stanley||55||MS||NLT|
|2001 Ford F150||Ryan Humphries||24||TN||NLT|
|2015 Cadillac CTS||Justin Knox||60||MS||NLT|
|2003 Mazda SW||Jason Ramos||36||GA/OH||(deceased)|
|2015 Toyota Tundra||Travis Close||40||TN||(no injuries)|
|2015 Toyota Tundra||Tina Close||39||TN||(no injuries)|
|2015 Toyota Tundra||MINOR||2||TN||(no injuries)|
|2015 Toyota Tundra||MINOR||6||TN||(no injuries)|
*NLT = non-life-threatening injury
NOTE: One minor's DOB was not available at the time of this report, estimated age has been provided.
PREVIOUS STORY: New information from Chattanooga police says that Thursday night's fatal crash took place when eight vehicles were stopped due to construction.
The preliminary investigation suggests that a semi-truck traveling northbound was unable to stop and struck the 8 vehicles involved.
Police say that some of the victims are from out of state; investigators are working to notify their family members.
A total people were involved; six of those were fatalities. Six others were transported to local hospitals for examination and treatment, and the remain people required no medical treatment.
The National Transportation Safety Board in also part of the investigation.
PREVIOUS STORY: I-75 northbound has re-opened near Ooltewah after police worked overnight to reconstruct the accident scene that claimed at least 6 lives Thursday night.
The multiple-vehicle crash was called "the worst I've ever seen," by Chattanooga Chief of Police Fred Fletcher when he spoke with Channel 3 Thursday night at the scene.
As many as nine vehicles, including a semi, were involved in the accident, which closed the roadway for nearly 12 hours.
An eyewitness to the accident, Arthur Tucker, spoke with Channel 3 reporter Dan Kennedy Friday morning at the crash site, saying "It was like something from a movie. I saw cars spin out in front of the trailer, then a fire and then all these crashes."
"I couldn't believe my eyes. Something you never want to see. It was kinda like a war zone, like there had been a terrorist attack," Tucker said.
Motorists are advised to avoid the area if possible as congestion begins to ease along the roadway.
PREVIOUS STORY: A multi-vehicle crash Thursday evening has left six people dead.
Chattanooga police say a total of 9 vehicles and more than 15 people were involved in the wreck on Interstate 75 near Ooltewah. The exact number of people involved is still being determined because victims were taken to different hospitals.
The accident happened after 7:00pm Thursday, just north of Exit 11. Investigators will be working throughout the overnight and into the early morning to determine the cause of the crash.
Traffic was redirected to Old Lee Hwy and other roads to bypass the crash.
Identities of the victims will be released by police once families have been notified.