LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – A La Follette man, arrested on multiple charges, including DUI, is behind bars this morning following a wreck officials say he caused. A family of four was victim to the man’s carelessness as he entered their lane of travel, according to eye witnesses.
La Follette Fire and Police along with the Campbell County EMS and EMA responded to the crash site of two older model four-door sedans at 1:55pm Saturday. Parts were scattered all over the road where West Central meets Highway 25W, and inside the two cars were five people four of which were injured.
The La Follette Police Department report said officers arrived on the scene of the collision and found Kenneth Ray Chadwell, 57, Carr Wynn Road, La Follette was in the driver’s seat of a maroon 1992 Toyota Camry. Officers observed that Chadwell allegedly had his wallet in his hands looking through the pockets of the wallet with very poor motor skills with his hands, and that there was a bag containing a white crystal substance with a small red cut straw, according to the LPD report. Due to injury, Chadwell was being treated by Campbell County EMS and was unable to perform a Standardized Field Sobriety test. A medical helicopter carried Chadwell away to a Knoxville hospital.
It was reported that Chadwell was headed east into La Follette on Jacksboro Pike entering the curve at the intersection of West Central Avenue at the West End Marathon. The report notes that on video, his Camry did not appear to follow the roadway into the curve and continued straight crossing the turn lane directly into oncoming traffic.
Coming the other way, west, toward Jacksboro, was a 2004 black Ford Taurus driven by 32-year- old Amanda Orick of La Follette. Orick told police “We were going up the road, and the other car crossed into our lane without slowing down. The driver looked slumped over. I tried to swerve to miss him, but I couldn’t.”
Orick and her front seat passenger, 39-year- old Christopher Orick, were both trapped inside their car and had to be extricated. Amanda Orick was transported by ground ambulance while Christopher Orick was airlifted. A pre-teen boy, who was sitting in the back seat on the passenger side, was flown out as well. All three were taken to a Knoxville hospital.
Christopher Orick told La Follette Police Officers, “My wife, Amanda, was driving myself and our two kids toward CVS from our apartment around 1:45pm. As we went from the Beech Street red light, we went left towards the gas station above K&L Corner Market. We were in the right lane as the other driver accelerated into our lane of traffic, never breaking or slowing and crashed into our car. My 16-year- old daughter was unharmed. My 12-year- old son has a broken collar bone. My wife has joint injuries. I have lacerations as well as seat belt burns, and I received five stitches to my left knee.”
Meanwhile, a search warrant was obtained for a blood draw on Chadwell, and La Follette Police investigators spoke with Chadwell at the hospital. Based on the LPD report, Chadwell stated “he was dropped off at his car in Caryville and was driving home when he started falling asleep around the Save-A-Lot store area in La Follette.” The next thing, he stated “he remembered sitting in a wrecked vehicle and hurting.” Also outlined in the police report from LPD is that Chadwell allegedly stated “he did take Suboxone, that he is not prescribed, prior to the crash, but he did not know what time.”
The charges Chadwell is facing include DUI (driving under the influence), violation of the implied consent law, three counts of vehicular assault, possession of schedule II meth, possession of schedule III, possession of drug paraphernalia and drivers to exercise due care.
An official with the Campbell County Jail states that Chadwell is being held without bond and is due in court on July 6. He was booked into the county jail around 4pm on Monday. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 06/09/2021-6AM)