UPDATE: Preliminary report explains Bradley crash that claimed t - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Preliminary report explains Bradley crash that claimed two lives

Posted: Updated:
Bradley County Fire Department Captain Wallace Varnell was one of the fatalities in the crash. Bradley County Fire Department Captain Wallace Varnell was one of the fatalities in the crash.

UPDATE: The preliminary report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol adds new details to the tragic accident that claimed two lives Wednesday night, including Cleveland Fire Department Captain Wallace Varnell.

The second driver in the crash has been identified at 64 year-old Edward Brewer of Cleveland.

The crash happened when Brewer attempted to pass another vehicle, driven by 22 year-old Rachel Holder, on Highway 60. Brewer was traveling north at a “high rate of speed” and clipped Holder’s car when moving back into the travel lane.

Brewer lost control of his vehicle which went into the lane where Varnell was driving, hitting the Ford truck head-on.

Both Varnell and Brewer were killed upon impact. Holder was transported to a local hospital for examination and treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Funeral arrangements were just announced for Captain Varnell have been announced:

 The funeral will be conducted at 11:00am  Monday, July 13, 2015 in the chapel of Fike-Randolph & Son Funeral Home, with Chaplain William Lamb, Chief Troy Maney and TEMA Deputy Director Dewey Woody officiating.

The interment will follow in Mt. Carmel Cemetery with Charles Hannah, David Hannah, Darrell Eckstein, Mike Hall, Terry Cross, Jeff Brown, Steve Eslinger and Jonathan Porter serving as pallbearers.

Honorary pallbearers will be Paul Finley, Kenny Eckstein, Wayne Burgess, Danny Kibble, Ricky Barefield and the Bradley County Fire Department. A white dove release ceremony will conclude the service.
His family will receive friends from 3:00-9:00 p.m. on Sunday at the funeral home and one hour prior to the service on Monday.
Messages of condolence can be sent and read the Varnell family guestbook online.

PREVIOUS STORY: Loved ones are mourning the loss of two people killed in a multi-vehicle accident Wednesday night in Bradley County.  

One of the victims was Captain Wallace Varnell, the Fire Chief of the Bradley County Fire Department.

The crash happened just after 10 Thursday night on Georgetown Road. 

It's the ninth and tenth traffic fatality in Bradley County this year alone. 

Wallace Varnell was a fire captain for 10 years. But served on the Bradley County Fire Department since it was formed in 1993.

Fellow firefighters say, they lost a brother last night.
"The brothership that we have, sorry. I've held it up til now," said Lt. Doug Hoggatt.

Bradley County Fire Lt. Doug Hoggatt worked alongside Wallace Varnell for 17 years.

On Thursday, he was helping wash Stations 3's firetruck for Varnell;s funeral.

The 55-year-old was one of two people killed in a crash on Highway 60 Wednesday night. 

Varnell came from a family of firefighters. But his fellow firefighters were family, too.

"We become a second family. When you're that many years in the department and somebody you know, part of me is
gonna be gone," said Hoggatt. 

"You can tell in someone's voice when the call came in, the call was bad," said Fire Chief Troy Maney.

Fire Chief Troy Maney responded to the scene of the crash. He says the firefighter was wearing his seatbelt and his foot was on the brake.

"We did what Wallace would've wanted us to do and that was to do the job and do it to the best of our ability," said Maney. 

Varnell was known as a model firefighter. One who never turned down a job, no matter how big or small. Always the first to go in and the last to come out.

"Bradley County has lost a great leader in Wallace Varnell," said Maney.

Someone so committed, not only to the fire department, but to his community and keeping them safe.

"It didn't matter if he was on a job or on his own business. he would stop what he was doing. if he was mowing hay or whatever he'd go to the call when we gotta come down," said Hogatt.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

The fire chief says they're prepared to have a firefighter funeral with full honors, if Varnell's family requests one

PREVIOUS STORY: Channel 3 has learned that Bradley County Fire Department Captain Wallace Varnell has been identified as one of the victims in Wednesday’s fatal crash in Cleveland. 

Varnell, 55, was the Captain at Bradley County Fire Station 3 for 10 years, and had served on the fire department since it was formed in 1993.

He came from a family of firefighters. Varnell's father helped start the Bradley County Fire Department and was a previous commander at Fire Station 3. His family also donated the land where Station 3 was built.

Varnell served as a mentor to many young firefighters.

Bradley County Fire Chief Troy Maney said Varnell was reliable and always willing to help.

"Wallace was the type of firefighter you'd hope everybody turns out to be," Maney said. "He never turned away from a job, no matter how big or how small."

Funeral arrangements have not been announced. 

The name of the other victim has not yet been released by officials.

PREVIOUS STORY: At least two people are dead following a multi-vehicle accident in the 6000 block of Highway 60 (Georgetown Road) in Bradley County.

Bradley County/Cleveland dispatchers tell Channel 3 the call came in just after 10:00pm Wednesday.  

A TWRA crew happened upon the scene and called 911.

Powered by Frankly