Investigation finds trouble with TBI's lab results

Last March, a car crash killed 58-year-old Ed Bankston of Knoxville. Police say he died when a car rear-ended his motorcycle on I-75.

Police thought the car's driver, Dale Ferrell, might have been drunk. TBI ran a toxicology test and found his blood alcohol content was .24; that's three times the legal limit.

Ferrell said he wasn't drunk, and his lawyers independently tested the blood. They found his BAC was .001, well below the legal limit.

The district attorney found those results were right and that TBI was wrong. TBI suspended its toxicologist Kyle Bayer.

They are now working to determine whether this was an isolated incident, and the implications it could have on other cases.

"Anyone that's been arrested or if they've even been convicted within the past year, they need to get with the lawyer and see about seeking a sample and possibly seeking an independent analysis of the blood results; jurors by and large think that the tests are infallible," said Chip Martin, DUI criminal DA.

TBI says Bayer has been working with the bureau for a year, and they have never had problems with him before. They do believe this is an isolated incident.

Meanwhile, the DA has dropped the charges against Farrell.


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