Tennessee Highway Patrol officials have not yet reached a conclusion as to when an Overton County man had the accident that took his life on August 30.
Michael Ledbetter, 58, of Alpine, died following the accident on Highway 52 East. THP officials believe Ledbetter’s vehicle was traveling on the road in his 2007 Chevrolet when he failed to negotiate a curve and went off the road. Ledbetter’s vehicle fell some 30 feet down an embankment, hitting trees along the way before coming to a stop.
Ledbetter was reportedly ejected from the vehicle during the crash. He was not wearing a seatbelt, according to the report.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the THP preliminary report, Ledbetter was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.
The accident was reported to the THP at 11:29 a.m. Friday, August 30.
A preliminary from Trooper Marty Philpot indicated a passerby saw Ledbetter’s vehicle over the embankment and reported it.
“The exact time of the wreck is undetermined,” the report stated.
The Overton County EMS and Rescue Squad responded to the scene and used cables and a winch to lower themselves over the embankment to retrieve Ledbetter from the crash.
In addition to the THP and Overton County EMS, the Alpine Volunteer Fire Department and Overton County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene.
After being on the run for the past five years, an Overton County man has been arrested in Texas, where he was residing, and has been returned to Overton County to answer to charges of TennCare fraud.
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) announced the arrest of Gary Garrett, 49, of Tyler, Texas. He was first arrested in October 2006, when he was charged in Overton County with 11 counts of TennCare fraud.
The charges all involved presenting fraudulent prescriptions to a pharmacy in Livingston for the pain killer Oxycontin along with Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug, and Phenergan, an anti-nausea drug usually prescribed with strong pain medication.
Garrett used TennCare benefits to pay for the prescriptions.
Garrett was scheduled to appear in an Overton County Court in January of 2008. But he failed to show for his court appearance, and has been a fugitive from justice since that time. Garrett was discovered residing in Tyler, Texas.
With the assistance of the Smith County, Texas Adult Probation Office and Overton County Sheriff’s Office, Garrett was extradited back to Tennessee. He was being held in Overton County Jail.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $173 million for the TennCare program, according to the latest figures. To date, over 1,900 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions.
Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”