A driver involved in a fatal head-on collision on Ind. 60 in Borden in February was arrested Tuesday and appeared in court.
Clark County Sheriff’s officers responded to a three-car wreck in the 16000 block of Ind. 60 near the Summit Parkway intersection around 6:40 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20. A man sitting on the side of the road told officers he was driving eastbound on Ind. 60 when a white Jeep Cherokee “suddenly crossed the center line and side swiped his vehicle.” The man said the impact forced his car off the road and rolled several times before coming to a stop. The driver of the Cherokee was later identified as 55-year-old Jerry L. Taylor of New Salisbury.
Taylor then continued driving west in the eastbound lane, according to court records. That’s when the Jeep collided head-on with a Nissan Altima traveling east. Taylor was trapped inside his car and covered in blood, but reportedly conscious and talking. The driver of the Nissan, 46-year-old Thomas Taylor of Pekin, was also trapped and later pronounced dead at the scene.
Taylor’s attorney, Larry Wilder, said Wednesday that his client appeared in court Tuesday for an initial hearing. Taylor was booked into the Clark County jail and released the same day on recognizance. Wilder said the six-month hold up between the wreck and the court date was due to steps the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office had to take to collect toxicology results. The results listed in court records show Taylor had a blood alcohol content level of .168 along with levels of THC.
Taylor’s blood was drawn when he was being treated for his own serious injuries resulting from the wreck, but he declined to let hospital staff draw his blood for the purposes of toxicology. That meant the prosecutor’s office had to subpoena results from the hospital, which then had to be sent to a lab for additional testing.
Wilder said Taylor’s refusal to have his blood drawn can’t be used against him. He noted that Taylor suffered multiple leg and face fractures and was unconscious for a period of time after the collision.
“And his ability to consent or deny the request is questionable … and that will become a question throughout the development of the case,” Wilder said.
“There are numerous questions about the integrity of the blood test and we will pursue the issue vigorously as to whether or not that blood test is an accurate reflection of what Mr. Taylor’s blood alcohol was or could have been at the time,” Wilder said.
Wilder said Taylor is “devastated” by the collision that killed a man, but said that as his attorney, he’s advised him to not reach out to the family to express his remorse. Anything Taylor says could be used against him in the criminal case. If convicted on all charges, Taylor could face four to 24 years in the Indiana Department of Correction.