Troopers Say Alcohol May Be Involved In Fire Truck Wreck

Posted at 11:19 AM, Aug 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-01 18:26:32-04

The Tennessee Highway Patrol released a preliminary report saying alcohol may have been involved in the wreck of a fire truck that overturned on its way to house fire.

The tanker truck carrying three Vanleer volunteer firefighters failed to navigate a turn over the weekend and ran off of the road.

Eddie Young of Vanleer was near the crash when it happened. “It looked like he was going just a little too fast for that curve there," Young recalled. "I didn’t know if he’d make it or not, and then all of the sudden I just heard, boom, boom, boom, boom.” 

Driver David Boutcher told investigators that the air brakes did not work at the time of the crash.

THP officials said Boutcher and another firefighter may have been drinking alcohol before the wreck. Both were suspended, but neither firefighter was arrested.

The vice mayor of Vanleer, Jason Weaver, said Boutcher told city authorities that he was not drinking prior to the accident. 

The tanker had been on the way to a fire caused by a lightning strike. Another volunteer fire crew was already on the scene, but the house was a total loss.