Truck driver involved in fatal crash wanted in Wisconsin
The truck driver involved in last week's fatal crash that killed six people is wanted by authorities in Wisconsin on a drug-related charge.
Tuesday, June 30th 2015, 11:31 am EDT by
Tuesday, June 30th 2015, 8:05 pm EDT
A Channel 3 investigation has learned that the truck driver involved in last week's fatal crash that killed six people is wanted by authorities in Wisconsin.
Benjamin Scott Brewer, 39, is wanted in Rock County after authorities say he did not show up to a scheduled court hearing in 2013.
Brewer was arrested by Janesville Police in April 2013 and charged with possession of an illegally obtained prescription after a detailed police report shows he and another man were shopping for pharmacies to fill out of state prescriptions.
According to police records, obtained by Channel 3, police were called to a Janesville pharmacy after Brewer attempted to fill an out of state prescription for Oxycodone pills at a pain clinic. The pharmacy refused to fill the prescription.
Police set up surveillance at another nearby pharmacy. When Brewer reportedly called that pharmacy to fill the same prescription the pharmacist told Brewer he would need to come in. Police were waiting for Brewer, who was with another man.
When police located Brewer they say he was in possession of Gabapentin pills, a medication used in the treatment of epilepsy. Brewer did not have a prescription for the pills that were not in a prescribed container and told the officer he believed they were for ADHD. He told police he was being treated by a doctor in Murfreesboro, Tennessee for pain in his back due to a trucking accident. He told police the doctor unexpectedly closed and left him without medical records. He had traveled to Wisconsin in hopes a pharmacy would fill his prescriptions.
Brewer was attempted to fill a presciption for 126 Oxycodone HCL tablets, at 30 milligrams each and 56 Ibprofen pills at 800 milligrams each. The man he was with, Jorge Ojeda-Morgado, was attempting to fill prescriptions for 112 Oxycodone HCL tablets and 30 milligrams each and 28 Zanaflex tablets at four milligrams each.
Police searched Brewer's phone and discovered text messages that appeared to be drug related.
"How are doing driver," Brewer texted a friend.
"I'm doing alright, I was getting ready to call you," the person replied.
"Pink 10 for $7 or gen .5 for $3," Brewer responded.
Officer confiscated the drugs in Brewer's possession and arrested him for possession of an illegally obtained prescription. He was later released on $250 bond and given a court date.
According to the Rock County Criminal Court, Brewer did not show up for his scheduled appearance and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. An employee of the clerk's office tells Channel 3 the case is still standing. Because the charge is a misdemeanour, Rock County authorities cannot extridite Brewer from another state. Only felony charges give the county the power to bring him back to Wisconsin to answer to the charge.
Channel 3 contacted Cool Runnings Express, the company for which Brewer drives. Owner Bill Sizemore replied "no comment" when asked about the investigation and hung up.
Investigators in Chattanooga are now working to determine if there were drugs in Brewer's system when he crashed into 8 vehicles, killing 6 people.
"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," said Lt. David Gibb, Traffic Division with Chattanooga Police Department.
Just one day before that crash, Channel 3 has learned Brewer was involved in another crash,
in the same truck, with the same passenger sitting next to him.
Brewer was cited by the Florida Highway Patrol for careless driving.
Police say he crashed into the back of another semi-truck while attempting to pass it.
Brewer was fined $166.
The police report said he made a few repairs to his truck on the side of the road and then continued driving.
Florida troopers did not test for drugs or alcohol.
"Yes, the driver was involved in a crash in Florida the day before, but we're still gathering information even on that crash," said Lt. John Harmon with Tennessee Highway Patrol.
THP is assisting with CPD's investigation, focusing on Brewer and the truck he was driving.
Tests were done on the truck to determine if it malfunctioned.
"I can tell you that we're trying to expedite everything in that investigation," Lt. Harmon said, "But you want to do it thoroughly."
Lt. John Harmon expects the results later this week. In the meantime, Brewer is back home in Kentucky.
"We have not charged him formally with anything yet so he is free to go where he chooses," Lt. Gibb said, "I believe he's back at home in Kentucky right now."