Victim Was Being Aided by Good Samaritans After Surviving Another Crash Moments Earlier

September 24, 2013

Atlanta– Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. announces a conviction by jury trial in the vehicular homicide case against a drunk driver who caused the death of a crashed motorist on the downtown connector. Jurors returned guilty verdicts Monday against 24-year-old Joshua Taylor on charges of Vehicular Homicide, DUI and DUI (less safe) in connection with the 2012 death of 31-year-old Ronnie Bascom.

The tragic chain of events happened on July 17, 2012 on the I-85 Southbound ramp to 17th Street. Victim Ronnie Bascom had just crashed his own vehicle into the guard rail. Two Good Samaritan motorists rushed to his aid. One of them waved a flashlight to warn oncoming traffic of the accident while the other monitored the victim until emergency crews arrived. In the interim, other drivers were able to navigate around the accident and travel down the ramp.  Minutes later, Defendant Taylor came speeding down the ramp and crashed into the victim’s car which, in turn, hit the victim who was standing behind his vehicle.  The impact threw Mr. Bascom into the nearby grassy median. He died instantly of blunt force trauma. Defendant Taylor continued driving down the ramp and hit the exit walls before his car burst into flames. He was pulled to safety by first responders who arrived on scene to assist with the first crash.

Though Defendant Taylor was traveling alone and was pulled from the driver’s seat, he insisted someone else was driving his vehicle because he was impaired.  His blood alcohol level was 0.196 and he tested positive for a mix of drugs including cocaine, marijuana and Xanax. He survived the crash with only cuts and bruises.

Following his conviction, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams sentenced Taylor to seven years in prison followed by three years on probation.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Pete Johnson assigned to the Major Felony Division with assistance from ADA Scott Wells and DA Investigator Vance Williams. Sergeant C. Hewitt of the Atlanta Police Department led the initial investigation.

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