Cambria man to be charged in fatal ATV incident

Man allegedly lost control of all-terrain vehicle and caused another man's death

ktanner@thetribunenews.comJanuary 30, 2013 

Garrett John Taylor

COURTESY PHOTO

A Cambria man faces four felony charges in connection with an all-terrain vehicle accident that killed Justin Evans, 20, on July 15.

Garrett John Taylor, now 28, spent two nights in the hospital after the accident. He was initially charged with felony driving under the influence and causing injury but, due to his injuries, was not booked into County Jail at the time.

Taylor was subsequently arrested at his home south of Cambria, taken to CountyJail and bailed out Jan. 25.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, he is tentatively due in court Feb. 8 to face four felony charges: vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated; being responsible for an accident when Taylor was driving while intoxicated, causing Evans’ death; having a blood-alcohol level higher than the legal limit of .08 percent, with enhancements of causing great bodily injury and a blood-alcohol count of .15 percent; and unlawful taking and driving of a vehicle that wasn’t his, a 2007 Yamaha Rhino belonging to Tim Winsor.

Taylor has a prior conviction for driving under the influence in December 2007.

According to friends and the initial CHP investigations, Taylor and Evans left a large birthday party at Winsor’s ranch in the hills near San Simeon Creek. Witnesses reported seeing Taylor driving the two-seater, utility all-terrain vehicle.

It appears that, while trying to make the curve on San Simeon Creek Road at about 4 a.m., the ATV drifted onto the shoulder, where it collided with and wrapped around an oak tree. Both men were found lying face up on the steeply sloping ground. Investigators assume they had not been wearing seat belts.

The six-month delay in filing of charges may have been to allow for lab analysis of blood found in the ATV to help determine where each man was in the vehicle when the accident happened, but CHP and district attorney’s sources were unavailable for comment.

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