Knoxville police: No evidence driver in deadly I-40 crash was playing Pokemon Go!

(Photo: David Killebrew/WATE)
(Photo: David Killebrew/WATE)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The Knoxville Police Department is addressing rumors that the driver of an SUV in a wrong way crash was playing a video game.

Darrel DeBusk with Knoxville Police Department said there is no truth to the rumor that Anthony Swartz, 21, was playing Pokemon GO!. The crash happened Monday morning. Both Swartz and Carroll Trent, 67, were killed.

Rumors that Swartz was playing a video game after the crash surfaced in the early hours of the morning on Thursday. The daughter of Carrrol Trent, Rachel Trent, wrote a post on Facebook saying her dad was killed because Swartz was playing Pokemon Go!. Her post was shared more than 100,000 times since she posted at 12:12 a.m. Thursday.

“Right now our investigation is ongoing. There is nothing that has lead us, at this point in our investigation, that would indicate that the driver was playing video game,” said DeBusk. “Matter of fact, the evidence that we have right now would suggest otherwise.”

Related: Maryville man, Virginia truck driver killed in Knoxville I-40 wrong-way wreck, chemical fire

DeBusk said investigators believe Rachel Trent was watching a video about the crash online. As soon as the video was over it played a second video of crash in another state where a driver was playing a video game while driving.

“We think the daughter got confused and kind of put those two stories together and that’s where she thought the driver that crashed into her father’s truck was playing Pokemon,” said DeBusk. He said police are conducting interviews to see where Swartz was and what he was doing before he hit the 18-wheeler Carroll Trent was driving.

Related: Loved ones remember lives, legacies of Knoxville I-40 crash victims

Investigators are still inspecting the vehicles and waiting on toxicology reports from the state. He said it could be months before a final report on the crash is finalized.

“Part of our investigation will be obtaining those cell phone records of Mr. Swartz, who was the driver of the SUV, but that doesn’t happen overnight. it’s not like a TV show or a movie you go watch,” said DeBusk. “It takes time to get those records. it will take probably several weeks for us to actually obtain those records. Again that’s something we’ll look at, so there’s absolutely no way we could determine what he was doing on his cell phone, even if he was on his cell phone during the crash. So, to make that determination within hours of the crash is simply not possible.”

Knoxville Police Department addressed a social media post that has been shared more than 100,000 times about a wrong-way crash.

Investigators said there is no truth to the rumor that the driver of the SUV, 21-year-old Anthony Swartz was playing a video game, specifically Pokemon GO!, causing the crash early Wednesday morning.At this point, police said they are conducting interview to see where Swartz was and what he was doing before hitting an 18-wheeler, driven by Carroll Trent, 67.

 

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