UPDATE: Grandmother of youngest crash victims wants answers in I - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Grandmother of youngest crash victims wants answers in I-75 fatal crash

Posted: Updated:
Police and first responders at the scene of the crash. CPD photo Police and first responders at the scene of the crash. CPD photo
In the front are Savannah and Kelsey Garrigues. In the back left to right are Tiffany Watts (mother of the girls), Sandra Anderson (mother of Tiffany). Photo courtesy of family member In the front are Savannah and Kelsey Garrigues. In the back left to right are Tiffany Watts (mother of the girls), Sandra Anderson (mother of Tiffany). Photo courtesy of family member
Sisters 11 year-old Kelsie Garrigues and nine year-old Savannah Garrigues both perished in the crash. Family photos Sisters 11 year-old Kelsie Garrigues and nine year-old Savannah Garrigues both perished in the crash. Family photos
Jason Ramos Jason Ramos
Brian Gallaher Brian Gallaher
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

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. 

Vehicle
 
Name
 
Age
 
State
 
Status
 
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. 

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