A plea was entered this week in Meigs County Criminal Court by a man accused of killing four people in a hit and run accident in 2016. District Attorney General Russell Johnson says 37-year-old John Wesley Bennett pled guilty to eight charges related to the incident where Bennett was driving a Mack dump truck pulling a flatbed trailer that came loose from the truck while Bennett was traveling southbound on Highway 58 south of Decatur. The trailer hurtled into the northbound lane striking a 2008 Nissan Maxima and a 1995 Nissan Pathfinder killing the four occupants of both vehicles.
Andrew Blackford, 38, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Samantha Norris, 37, of Maynardville, Tennessee, who were in the first car struck by the out-of-control trailer, were killed. Their 2008 Nissan came to rest in the center of the roadway, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said. Christopher Denton, 36, and Paula Stevens, 62, both of Dunlap, were in a 1995 Nissan that overturned and came to rest on its top. They also died.
Troopers determined that the trailer was improperly attached to the truck and was unsafe to operate on the highways. Bennett faces up to 32 years in prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 1, 2020.