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Affidavit: VW employee didn’t hit brakes in deadly crash, recalls hitting ‘objects’

From NewsChannel 9: UPDATE: The Chattanooga Police Department (CPD) says a Volkswagen employee never touched his brakes in the lead up to a deadly crash at the factory on Saturday, and now he’s facing multiple charges.


That’s according to an affidavit we obtained on Sunday.


Police say they conducted an interview in the aftermath of the crash with Jason Wayne Thorton.


Thornton told CPD he was driving around the trailers on Volkswagen’s property and headed toward the paint shop where he worked.


Thornton told police he couldn’t remember what happened next but said he believed he fell asleep.


He went on to say he remember “objects hitting his car and windshield,” at which point he stopped and get out of his car.


Thornton says he did not see anything after getting out of his car.


Several witness told officers they saw a black Sedan traveling at a high rate of speed.


CPD says evidence collected at the scene indicates that Thornton did not tap his brakes in the moments before the crash.


Thornton is facing charges of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment, reckless driving and speeding.


Authorities have not yet identified any of the victims.



EARLIER: One person is confirmed dead and a second suffered life threatening injuries and the third had non-life threatening injuries following an incident at 8005 Volkswagen Drive Saturday morning.


The Chattanooga Police Department confirms that they were called at 5:39 AM about multiple pedestrians struck by a car.


Police located three people with varying injuries. One person was found deceased at the scene; a second suffered life threatening injuries and the third had non-life threatening injuries.


Police were told the driver of the vehicle left the roadway for unknown reasons and struck the pedestrians.


This incident happened on a walkway near the Volkswagen plant and all involved are Volkswagen employees.


The investigation into the incident is on-going.


Comment from Volkswagen Spokesperson:

“A tragic road incident occurred today at Volkswagen Chattanooga, resulting in an employee fatality and two injured employees. Our heartfelt condolences are with the employees, their families and everyone impacted by this tragedy. All production at the plant today has been canceled. We continue to work closely with local law enforcement as they investigate the incident, and refer additional questions to them.”


Earlier on Saturday morning, Volkswagen Chattanooga Spokeswoman Amanda Plecas said via email


The Chattanooga Police Department is investigating an incident which occurred on the interior road behind our plant this morning. This is an isolated incident and there is no risk to the public or other workers. All production for today has been canceled.


Shortly after 5:30 a.m., the Hamilton County 911 page showed crews responding to a pedestrian hit at the plant’s address.