Man charged with vehicular homicide in Red Bank traffic crash that left one dead

Man charged with vehicular homicide in Red Bank traffic crash that left one dead

July 24th, 2019 by Rosana Hughes in Breaking News

This story was updated Wednesday, July 24, 2019, at 11:15 p.m.

William Ross Cheek

William Ross Cheek

A Chattanooga man has been charged with DUI and vehicular homicide in connection with a crash in Red Bank that killed a passenger.

Hamilton County sheriff's investigators were called to the crash site in the 1100 block of Ashmore Avenue just after 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to court records.

There they found a white Toyota 4-Runner overturned on its roof, court records state. Two people — 25-year-old William Ross Cheek and 24-year-old Trenton Duncan — were sitting on a curb next to some gas pumps.

A third person, 23-year-old Haven West, was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene, court records state.

Officers noted a scent of alcohol coming from Cheek and Duncan, both of whom admitted drinking earlier, court records show.

Cheek told investigators that he had two beers at a local bar and two more at West's house, court records state. He said the three of them had been at that house until "drama and yelling" started, so they left to go to Duncan's home.

There, the group "played a few hands of poker" before leaving to take West back to her house when Cheek lost control of his vehicle while trying to navigate a curve, court records show.

Cheek "steered into the slide and gave it gas to try and pull the vehicle back straight," court records state. "However, the vehicle rolled over on its side and ran off the left side of the street striking a utility pole."

The vehicle then traveled back across the street and came to rest on the right-hand curve.

Cheek failed a preliminary breath test but "performed OK" on a field sobriety test, court records show.

He was taken into custody and charged with DUI, vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment, reckless driving and violation of driving on roadways laned for traffic.

He is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 2.

Contact Rosana Hughes at rhughes@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6327 with tips or story ideas. Follow her on Twitter @HughesRosana.