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Christopher Savannah case will head to grand jury, judge says

While on the stand, Trooper Dubrock, who was friends with Sgt. Jenkins, said Savannah did not show any emotion during the incident.
The semi-truck driver accused of hitting and killing a Loudon County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrived in a Roane County court for his preliminary hearing Tuesday
Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 2:15 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2022 at 10:46 PM EST
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ROANE COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) - The semi-truck driver accused of hitting and killing a Loudon County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrived in a Roane County court for his preliminary hearing Tuesday afternoon. After the hearing, it was decided that Savannah’s case will head to a grand jury.

Semi Driver Charged In Deputy's Death In Court

The semi-truck driver, Christopher Savannah, 43, accused of hitting and killing a Loudon County Sheriff’s Officer arrives in court for a preliminary hearing. https://bit.ly/3sVbgCI

Posted by WVLT on Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Christopher Savannah, 43, faces several charges following the crash on Interstate 75 near the Tennessee River Bridge on Feb. 3. Loudon County’s Sgt. Chris Jenkins was reportedly killed after Savannah failed to slow down after a rolling barricade, which the long-time sergeant implemented while removing debris from the roadway.

After hearing from first responders and investigators for over an hour on Feb. 7, the judge ruled a $1 million bond for Savannah, who decided not to testify in his first court appearance.

For the first hearing, there were no friends or family of Savannah’s there to testify on his behalf; however, his family did show up on March 8 and appeared to be emotional while a witness, Trooper Paul Dubrock, recounted the morning’s tragic events.

While on the stand, Trooper Dubrock, who was friends with Sgt. Jenkins, said Savannah did not show any emotion during the incident. He called the scene “chaotic” and said that Sgt. Jenkins was killed underneath the tractor-trailer.

Dubrock also said that Savannah was under the influence at the time of the crash, and decided that he was drug-impaired, not under the influence of alcohol.

Lt. Carey Hixon with the Tennessee Highway Patrol also took the stand, where he said Savannah’s Texas commercial vehicle license was not valid. Hixon also said that Savannah failed a marijuana drug test in March of 2020, and said one of his vehicles brakes was inoperable and another was out of adjustment.

Hixon also said that one of the tractor-trailer’s tires was flat at the time of the wreck, but was not able to confirm when the flat happened. Two more wittnesses, including Sgt. Robert Woody, a Roane County investigator, confirmed that Savannah showed a lack of emotion at the scene, implying he was impaired at the time.

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