Sevierville man enters plea in fatal 2013 crash

Apr. 25, 2014 @ 11:06 PM

A Sevierville man pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and three counts of vehicular assault. The charges stemmed from a crash last August that killed a young Knoxville father and injured two children on Gov. John Sevier Highway.

Scott Spangler, 50, entered the plea Wednesday in Knox County Criminal Court.

He was sentenced to 20 years and will be eligible for parole after serving a third of the sentence.

Spangler was under the influence of alcohol, crack cocaine and Valium on Aug. 23, 2013, reports say, when he crossed the center line of John Sevier and and struck another car, causing that vehicle to spin back into a third car traveling behind it.

The impact killed Benjamin L. Woodruff, 38, of Knoxville, who was driving the vehicle Spangler hit.

The wreck also injured Woodruff’s then 6-year-old son, Ethan Woodruff, along with his 4-year-old daughter, Kathleen. Ethan Woodruff was in critical condition at the time of the accident, and according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel, suffered brain injuries in the crash that have left him unable to walk.

According to the Sentinel, Spangler had five DUI convictions prior to the wreck, and had been classified as a habitual motor vehicle offender for a decade.

Woodruff's widow, Beth, is an employee at Wonderworks in Pigeon Forge.

A memorial account for Woodruff's family is still active at Tennessee State Bank.

“Donations made to this account will go directly to his wife, Beth, for their family’s needs during this difficult time,” Jackie Vasquez, a spokesperson for Wonderworks said at the time the account was organized.

Donations can be sent in, or made in person at any Tennessee State Bank location. Tell the TSB employee that the money is to be deposited into the account For Benefit of Ben Woodruff, #1200968.