Suspect in custody in death of Ben Kredich

Sandra ClarkLet's Talk

Article updated August 29, 2023.

Let’s update Betty Bean’s story from 8/24/23 about the death of Ben Kredich, 24. He was killed on 8/21/23 while walking on the sidewalk near 2935 Kingston Pike. He was headed for the Sunspot for dinner with his dad, UT swim director Matt Kredich.

Scott Erland, communications manager for KPD, called after Bean’s story. He provided the officer’s narrative from the police report. Erland wanted to ensure “the stories about this incident are accurate, based on the details that are known.”

We do, too.

Shannon Walker

Shannon Blake Walker, 44, of Maryville has been arrested by KPD and charged with seven felonies in connection with Ben’s death. Among the charges are first offense DUI and vehicular homicide. Walker was being held in the county detention center as of 5 p.m. on 8/24. Their report here (search for Shannon Walker). Hearings for all charges are set for September 5, 2023.

Erland explained the protocol for overdose calls to E-911. There’s a so-called good Samaritan law that shields people who phone in apparent overdoses. And overdosing is not a crime. So, when the call on Walker went to E-911, it was treated as a medical emergency and an ambulance was dispatched.

“KPD was not aware of Mr. Walker until we responded to the crash (on Kingston Pike),” Erland said. “Our officers found drugs in his car after the crash.”

From the narrative: It was discovered that the suspect was previously transported today at 13:55 hours by AMR from 6204 Westland Drive to Parkwest (Medical Center). It was found that the suspect was found unresponsive in his vehicle at this time when AMR responded and administered Narcan to which he responded. The suspect was then transported to Parkwest where he refused further treatment and was discharged at 15:20 hours. 

Erland said at this point no crime had been committed and KPD had not been called.

Bean’s three questions:
  • Why was the suspect allowed to take possession of his car less than an hour before he ran over Ben?

He was not under arrest; in fact, KPD had not been contacted.

  • How did his car come to be waiting for him in the hospital parking lot?

Nobody knows how, where or when he got his car, at this point.

UPDATE: Parkwest Medical Center released a statement on Aug. 29, 2023, stating that the person involved in the traffic accident that left Ben Kredich dead “left hospital premises as a passenger in a vehicle, not as a driver.” Parkwest is “cooperating fully with the Knoxville Police Department’s ongoing investigation,”  and is restricted by patient privacy laws from disclosing information about an individual’s health care.

  • Why wasn’t he charged with possessing the narcotics found in his car, which included heroin, as per the initial press release from the Knoxville Police Department?

The “initial press release” was a social media post which has since been modified. Walker was charged with possessing narcotics as soon as the officers found them. after the crash which killed Ben Kredich.

Back to the narrative:

Witnesses stated that the suspect vehicle was traveling eastbound on Kingston Pike in the left lane when he veered left across both westbound lanes of traffic. At this point the suspect vehicle drove onto the sidewalk where the victim was struck and thrown approximately 20 yards into the grassy area. The vehicle then struck a pole with the front driver side of the vehicle and continued eastbound in the westbound lanes of Kingston Pike until it came to a stop at the entrance of the Second Presbyterian Church. The suspect was awake and alert in the driver seat of the vehicle with the engine still running upon contact. The suspect made a spontaneous utterance stating that he passed out when driving on Kingston Pike and woke up in the position we found him.

As officer was asking for Walker’s identification, he made another spontaneous utterance stating that I can’t believe I killed someone.

AMR arrived on scene and announced the victim deceased and spoke with the suspect. AMR unit 709 stated that when they were speaking with the suspect his pupils were constricted, he had slurred speech, and was also slowed to respond to questions.

Search of the suspect vehicle by revealed in a ceiling compartment a baggie containing a light brown substance believed to be heroin weighing approximately 6.86 grams along with a straw. In the visor a cut straw was found. In the passenger floorboard I located another cut straw and 4 white unpackaged pills found to be gabapentin (Legend drug). In the driver side door compartment I located an empty prescription bottle for Oxycodone that was prescribed for 90 pills on 05/12/2023.

The suspect was searched prior to being transported to UT by AMR. He located an unlabeled purple pill container that contained numerous pills. Inside was: 3 blue pills found to be morphine sulfate (Sch 2), 1 unknown brown pill, 1 white pill found to be Gabapentin (Legend Drug), 1 capsule pill found to be Omeprazole (Legend Drug), and 1 red pill found to be Morphine Sulfate (Sch 2).

Due to the circumstances, the narcotics found, and the crash resulting in a death a search warrant was issued for blood draw. UT Medical personnel conducted the blood draw and medically cleared Walker. Walker was taken into custody without further incident.

Erland said everything was by the book. “Nothing was out of order.”

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today Inc.


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