CULLMAN COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -54-year-old Brett Amerson is facing a felony DUI charge after Cullman Police say he hit and killed 39-year-old Bradley Patterson Tuesday afternoon on Highway 157. Police say Patterson was on his motorcycle when he was struck by Amerson’s white box truck. The white truck has damage on the passenger side.
Police say Amerson left the scene. He was eventually caught on Interstate 65 by a Cullman County Sheriff's deputy about 20 miles south of the accident scene. Lt. Jeff Warnke says Amerson was highly intoxicated when he got to the jail.
"The deputy that dealt with him at the scene deemed him to be intoxicated based on training and observations,” Lt. Warnke said.
Court records show Amerson has a history of DUI arrests. We found almost a dozen of them online. Some date back 20 years or more. He was also charged with attempted murder in a 2016 Irondale shooting case. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and only got probation. Police call Amerson’s history frustrating.
“It's hard to explain. We as law enforcement. We go out and make the arrest. We can't force the judicial system to keep them in jail."
Lt. Warnke says this case is another sobering example of what can happen when people drink and drive. "There's two young boys. A 13-year-old and a 17-year-old that don't have a father now here a week before Christmas,” Warnke said.
On a memorial page for Bradley Patterson, one of his son’s writes:
“My dad.. I love you so much. I'm so sorry for everyone who is sad right now. I am too but my dad wouldn't want us to keep crying forever.. dad died doing something he loved and I will never forget that. He's taught me so much and that was his last lesson. I love him.. not in past tense because I am still alive.. I will love him forever until I pass.. we all have to remember he was a great man that did not deserve this..:heart::heart:”
A blood sample from Amerson is being sent to a state lab for testing. Police tell us the charges against Amerson are expected to be upgraded later this week.