UPDATE:

An Eastern Kentucky truck driver will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars for causing the 2015 crash on I-75 in Ooltewah. 

A judge sentenced Benjamin Brewer to 83 years in prison for causing the crash that killed six people. 

He will spend the next 55 years in prison, without the possibility of parole. 

He will also be required to pay a $400 fine and lost his licence for 10 years. 

In January, a Davidson County jury found Benjamin Brewer guilty of causing the 2015 crash on Interstate 75. 

Brewer was found guilty on six counts of Vehicular Homicide by Intoxication, four counts of Reckless Aggravated Assault, Driver Under the Influence and Speeding.

Brewer waited two and a half years to speak to the families impacted by the crash. 

"They'll have to live with it everyday because of me and that will always haunt me and again, I am truly sorry for these families," Brewer said during his sentencing hearing Monday. 

Visibly upset, Brewer said he was sorry five times in the two minutes he spoke before the judge, sharing how he's spent his time since the crash. 

"I started thinking what could I do for these families, so I started praying several times a day that God would ease their pain," he said. 

The judge considered Brewer's clean background, to witness testimony of his driving moments before the crash, and how he falsified log boogs before handing down an 83 year sentence. 

Brewer will serve time for some charges at the same time, shortening his time behind bars. 

He will spend the next 55 years in prison, without the possibility of parole. 

"This is one incident. One terrible incident that resulted in horrible, horrible things to a large number of people and I considered that," Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Don Poole said during Monday's hearing. 

The families of the victims did not speak during Monday's sentencing, but wrote statements for the judge to consider. 

Brewer's family declined to go on camera after the hearing but an aunt testified during the hearing. 

"This has been a terrible thing. But Ben is a good man," Brewer's aunt Etta Brewer said. 

"Sentencing is a difficult task. He's got to follow the law, we've got to follow the law. We're glad all of the work he put into it. We're satisfied with the outcome," Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston said. 

Brewer's attorney would only say they plan to appeal the conviction. 


Truck driver Benjamin Brewer was sentenced Monday to 55 years in prison.

A Davidson County jury found Benjamin Brewer guilty of causing the 2015 crash on Interstate 75 that killed six people and hurt six others. 

Brewer was found guilty on six counts of Vehicular Homicide by Intoxication, four counts of Reckless Aggravated Assault, Driver Under the Influence and Speeding.


Channel 3's Michelle Heron will be in the courtroom for trial and tweeting live updates


10:57am - BREAKING: Brewer sentenced to 55 years in prison in I-75 crash in Ooltewah.

10:52amJudge says Brewer is a dangerous offender.

10:50am - Judge requires $400 fine to be paid and loss of license for 10 years.

10:49amBrewer sentenced to 11 years for 6 vehicular homicide convictions, 4 years for reckless aggravated assault, etc.

10:43am - Judge also says he gives weight to testimony from Tina Close who saw crash happen out her back window.

10:42am - Judge says the two logs books play a role in the sentence and the heightened risk to human life. Mentions witness who saw Brewer driving recklessly from GA into TN.

10:40am - Judge is speaking about each of the victims killed in the crash and the impact that has had on several communities.

10:40am - Judge: Essentially a whole family was basically wiped out in regards to this. 

10:36am - Judge is citing case law to explain how he arrived at the sentence.

10:35am - Judge is about to sentence Brewer.

10:26am - Defense cites no prior convictions on Brewer’s record. Criminal behavior that was alleged was dismissed.

10:25am - Defense: This happened in the course of employment. He was trying to support himself. He expressed his sincere remorse today.

10:24amDefense: It was one action. It was an accident.

10:23am - Defense is up.

10:23am - Pinkston is reading part of a victim impact statement from the father of the two children killed in the crash. “They deserve justice.”

10:16am - Pinkston says Brewer’s falsified log books and refusal to answer drug/alcohol questions should count against him. Says he doesn’t accept responsibly for his actions.

10:13am - District Attorney Neal Pinkston is speaking. Reminds judge Brewer is a range 1 offender.

10:12am - Defense mentions there’s an appeal in the case and civil cases as well.

10:12am - Brewer: No words will change the loss. It’s true from the bottom of my heart, I apologize to these families. They have to live with this every day because of me.

10:11am - Brewer: I would have given my life that day for these people. Especially for the two kids. I want the families to know that I am sorry. Carrying this with me is not easy and never will be.

10:10amBrewer is speaking for the first time. “I am truly sorry from the bottom of my heart. I also have a daughter. There’s no words to express how sorry I am to these families.”

10:09amEtta: I know Ben is remorseful. I speak to him weekly by phone. I pray for the victims. This is a no-win situation. This has been a terrible thing. Ben is a good man.

10:08am - Etta is talking about the kind of father Ben Brewer is to his daughter. Says he served as coach to one of her sports teams.

10:08am- Etta says Benjamin’s Brewer comes from a family of truck drivers. Says He has a 9-year-old daughter.

10:07am - Etta says Ben came to live with her for about a year. Says he grew up close with her sons who are around the same age. Ben was respectful of the rules in my home.

10:06amEtta Brewer: I am proud to say Ben is my nephew. He came from a good home. He grew up in church, raised on a farm, played on several church sports teams. He knew what hard work was.

10:05am- Etta Brewer is now on the stand. Ben is her nephew. Other family members are in the gallery for today’s hearing as well.

10:03am - There are several letters from families of victims.

10:02am - The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Commission will decide if Brewer will lose his CDL.

10:01am - Defense is now questioning Harmon.

9:59am - Harmon says a driver operates on a 24-hour cycle. Can drive for 14 hours and must rest for 10 hours. Harmon: We determined he was falsifying his log books.

9:58am - Harmon is talking about the log books Brewer was required to keep up with. The jury did not hear about this evidence in trial. Harmon says they’re “critical.” So hours of service can be evaluated.

9:57am - Lt. John Harmon with Tennessee Highway Patrol is on the stand now.

9:55am - Brewer has not been convicted of anything other than these crimes, according to Roker’s nationwide background check. A former employer described Brewer as “one of the best employees he ever had.”

9:54am - The questionnaire is 92 questions, asks about family, drug, school, history, etc. Roker says if someone doesn’t answer all the questions, it’s considered incomplete. Roker says Brewer was cooperative at the time of the assessment. Says she verifies answers.

9:53am - Defense is now questioning Roker.

9:51am - Some parts of the assessment couldn’t be completed due to Brewer’s attorney’s advice.

9:49am - Roker says Brewer completed high school and some community college in Somerset, KY. Says he deals with depression and anxiety. Did not answer questions related to drug use, at advice of counsel.

9:48am - Roker says Brewer had an active warrant out of Wisconsin for RX drugs at the time of the crash. Says other charges had been dismissed, some out of KY for possession of meth, criminal mischief.

9:46am - Hannah Roker is on the stand. She performed the presentence report for Benjamin Brewer. Looked at his criminal history, questionnaire with Brewer, and victim impact statements. Roker says she received several victim impact statements. Some came in over the weekend.

9:43am - Sentencing is starting.