UPDATE: The victim has been identified as 32-year-old Heath Brown of Chattanooga, Tenn.

Fort Oglethorpe police are investigating a fatal crash that occurred early Sunday evening, Jan. 31, in which a truck collided with a motorcycle, claiming the life of a 32-year-old Chattanooga, Tenn., man.

According to police captain Gary McConathy, the wreck occurred about 6:30 p.m. at the intersection of Cloud Springs and LaFayette roads along U.S. Highway 27.

“The motorcyclist was traveling north on U.S. Highway 27, and there was a Ford pickup traveling south on 27 looking to make a turn onto Cloud Springs Road,” McConathy said. “The two vehicles collided in the intersection and the motorcyclist was killed instantly.”

McConathy said the victim’s name hasn’t been released, as the department is still trying to make the proper family notifications. He said driver of the truck was a 74-year-old man, also from Chattanooga, Tenn.

Police and emergency crews worked diligently Sunday evening to clear up the accident, but McConathy says he’s still trying to determine the cause of the wreck.

“We’re looking over the scene again this morning,” he said Monday, “and interviewing five eyewitnesses who were at the scene. We’re comparing that to the story of the passenger in the truck who survived the crash. Our biggest thing is trying to determine the order of the traffic light at the intersection at the time the wreck occurred.”

McConathy says he’s trying to pinpoint whether it was a failure to yield the right-of-way on the part of the driver of the truck, or if both men were in the intersection after the light had already turned red.

“We’re not 100-percent sure right now,” McConathy said. “We do know that speed was not an issue, given the scene, the impact, and the distance the vehicles were apart. We know it wasn’t a speeding situation. Our department worked 99 wrecks in December alone, so with crash sites, we can look and tell a lot of things just based on experience.”

McConathy said the victim’s name could be released as early as mid-day on Monday and that it’s still unclear if any charges would be filed in the case.

“It’s a tragedy, but we’re doing what we can to find out what caused the wreck,” McConathy said.

Adam Cook has been a reporter with the Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga., since 2009. He currently covers crime and courts, Ringgold and Fort Oglethorpe city government, education, and arts and entertainment.

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