Driver in deadly I-75 Ooltewah crash appears in court for motions hearing

Benjamin Brewer appears in court for Thursday's motions hearing. Several witnesses to the deadly crash are to testify. (Image: WTVC)

UPDATE: Another pre-trial hearing for Benjamin Brewer has been set for May 23rd.

Judge Poole said the venue may need to be changed to help with jury selection.

ORIGINAL: A motions hearing got underway Thursday morning in the case of Benjamin Brewer, the truck driver charged in the June, 2015 crash on Interstate 75 near Ooltewah that killed six people. Prosecutors say Brewer was driving recklessly and impaired, and not regarding a construction area when his 18-wheeler plowed into several stopped vehicles.

Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Don Poole is considering ten motions filed by Brewer's attorneys, before the trial will begin.

Several witnesses to the crash are scheduled to testify at Thursday's hearing, the first time we have heard from them in court since the crash.

The first to take the stand was Lisa Martin, who works for the Chattanooga Police Department conducting DUI blood tests.

She was among the first responders to the scene.

She testified that Brewer, who was sitting in a trooper's car when she arrived, kept saying he wanted to go home, and appeared to not understand what had just happened.

Martin testified that as she was withdrawing blood for a DUI test, he "looked like he was going to pass out."

Related: First responders remember fatal I-75 crash one year later

Collegedale Police Chief Brian Hickman took the stand next.

Chief Hickman testified that Brewer was quiet before being given a DUI test, but then became "cynical."

Chief Hickman then testified he later determined Brewer was on something.

But Hickman testified that Brewer insisted he was sober.

Next, Brian Blumenberg of the Chattanooga Police Department took the stand.

Videos from inside police squad cars were then played in court. The defense and the prosecution are at odds over whether these videos should be admissible.

Several lawsuits have been filed against Brewer and the trucking company that employed him.

NewsChannel 9 reporter Hannah Lawrence is tweeting from the courtroom. Follow her Twitter page for updates.

This is a developing story. Depend on us to bring you more details as they come in.

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