Man charged in fatal hit and run in Cullman County has multiple previous DUI charges


Brett Steven Amerson (Cullman Police Department)

Updated 12-19-18 at 4:33 p.m.

CULLMAN – A Morris man has been named as the suspect in Tuesday night's fatal hit and run on Alabama Highway 157 in Cullman County that took the life of a Holly Pond man. Cullman Police Department Lt. Jeff Warnke early Wednesday morning identified the suspect, who is in custody, as Brett Steven Amerson, 54. Amerson was allegedly intoxicated at the time of the crash.

Tuesday night, Cullman County Coroner Jeremy L. Kilpatrick said Bradley Ray Patterson, 39, was pronounced dead at Cullman Regional after being transported from the scene.

According to Warnke, Patterson, driving a newer model Harley Davidson motorcycle, was traveling southbound on Hwy. 157 at approximately 5 p.m. when he was struck by a white 1998 GMC box truck that failed to yield the right of way when turning left onto Interstate 65 South. The driver of the truck, now identified as Amerson, did not stop, instead continuing onto the interstate, prompting the Cullman Police Department to issue an alert to area law enforcement agencies in an effort to locate the vehicle.

Shortly before 7:30, Amerson was located, 21 miles away from the scene off I-65 Exit 291. Sgt. Cindy Rohrscheib said the truck was found at a truck stop off of Alabama Highway 91.

“Mr. Amerson was found due to the diligent hard work of Lt. Daniel Cummings of the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office,” said Warnke. “He made a traffic stop and was able to apprehend Mr. Amerson, 21 miles away.”

"The sheriff's department did great work in being able to locate and stop him," said Cullman Police Chief Kenny Culpepper.

So far, Amerson has been charged with DUI and driving while revoked, but more charges are pending.

Warnke said, "This is a felony hit and run. The case will be taken to the district attorney and then grand jury.”

Warnke said Amerson’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was “somewhere in the neighborhood of .26” on a partial breathalyzer done when he was found.

“He refused the test at the jail,” said Warnke, “the breath-testing device housed there at the jail that we can use at court. The portable ones (like the one done when he was found) we can’t. But we did do a forensic blood and urine kit on him that will be sent to the state and will be used as evidence at the trial.”

As to why Amerson fled the scene, Warnke said, “He said he did it because he was drunk. He was highly intoxicated. He told us he fled because he knew he was intoxicated. He seemed somewhat remorseful.”

Court records show that Amerson has a criminal history dating back to at least 1986, including multiple DUI charges, including felony DUIs, an attempted murder charge and a charge for discharging a weapon into an occupied dwelling.

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