published Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Benton man killed in head-on wreck with tractor-trailer in Polk County

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A collision between a pickup and tractor-trailer in Benton, Tenn., claimed the life of a local man late Monday, authorities said.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol and Benton police investigated the accident that killed 48-year-old Samuel R. Cross, Benton Police Chief Rocky King said.

Cross was not wearing his seat belt, authorities said.

The accident, which happened about 11:10 p.m., involved Cross' 1993 Ford Ranger and a 1995 Peterbilt tractor-trailer. The collision took place near Benton Shooters Supply on U.S. Highway 411 in a construction zone, authorities said.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Douglas W. Weaver, had no serious injuries, according to highway patrol reports.

Cross was driving south on U.S. 411 when he lost control and slid off the road, striking some construction barrels before coming back onto the highway and entering the oncoming lane, where his truck hit the northbound rig head-on, the chief said.

State Trooper John Cochran said Weaver was hauling potatoes from Florida to Ohio. The road was wet from rain and Cross' speed might have contributed to the accident, Cochran said.

The investigation is pending but no charges are expected, he said.

Polk County dispatchers and THP said the wreck shut down traffic for about 21/2 hours, but was cleared overnight and posed no traffic problems Tuesday morning.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at 423-757-6569 or bbenton@timesfreepress.com. Subscribe to his facebook posts at www.facebook.com/benbenton1 or follow him at on Twitter at twitter.com/ BenBenton.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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