Probation given in vehicular homicide case

LEESBURG, Ga. -- Steven Mathis, 20, was sentenced in Lee County Superior Court Wednesday to two years probation and was banished from the city of Leesburg for the accidental death of a 14-year-old boy.

According to Don Lambreth, assistant district attorney for Lee County, Mathis was charged with vehicular homicide last April when Taylor Bailey, 14, was killed while trying to climb onto the back of the car Mathis was driving.

Evidence indicates there were three passengers other than Mathis inside the car with two individuals, including Bailey, on the back of the vehicle. An investigation showed that Bailey had fallen off the vehicle and was attempting to get back on when he fell again and was fatally injured. Officials say Bailey spent 17 days on medical support following the accident.

Lambreth called the the scenario of several people "car surfing" without proper safety considerations an unfortunate situation which ended in tragedy.

According to Lambreth, there was no evidence of alcohol, drugs or excessive speed in the incident. Neither was Mathis accused of malice in either of the two charges.

Mathis had pleaded nolo contendere, or no contest, to one charge of vehicular homicide in the first degree and one count of reckless driving.


LuLu 2 years, 2 months ago

Banished from the city? And, according to WALB, ordered to stay away from Taylor's family and his grave? I don't know anything about either family or their history, but both of those seem to be cruel and unusual punishments. Does Mathis' family live here? Is banishment from a gravesite a normal thing? It sounds to me like Taylor was just as much at fault as Mathis was, if not more. My husband and I have had discussions along these lines before actually. He has an ex-girlfriend who has caused us many, many problems over the years. Unfortunately the police know her and us well. But if -- God forbid! -- anything should ever happen to my husband, I would never, EVER in a million years block her from visiting him in the hospital or attending his funeral and saying her goodbyes. As cold as I can be sometimes, my heart is just not THAT cold. Good or bad, she did love him and to deny someone -- anyone! -- their one chance to say goodbye is beyond cruel. I do hope the family and judge will rethink the gravesite banishment.


beenhereawhile 2 years, 2 months ago

Seems overall like a pretty light sentence since there was a death involved. But banishment from the city of Leesburg seems like an odd request, since he really didn't do anything to harm the city. Maybe it was a special request from the family of the deceased, with an overall light sentence.


VSU 2 years, 2 months ago

Anyway you look at it, it was stupid to attempt to jump on a moving vehicle in the begin with. I guess some people thinks it's fun to ride on moving vehicles on top of hoods or trunks (Car Surfing), but didn't turn out to be too much fun for the deceased in the end. Hopefully others will learn from this.


rock 2 years, 2 months ago

There is more to this sentence than that published. The restrictions all sound like plea deal to keep charges at a minimum and no prison time.


ittybittyme 2 years, 2 months ago

I agree with LuLu, part of this accident was his fault. It is unfortunate that he died.


Amazed2 2 years, 2 months ago

Unfortunately a driver generally gets 100% of the legal blame. Sad deal for all involved.


FryarTuk 2 years, 2 months ago

Okay so the deceased's family will have to seek an alternative form of justice. In spite of the nolo plea the driver is culpable. Call Jerry Brimberry before the two year sol passes. As Sherman told Grant about Georgia "I can make this march and I will make them howl." Brimberry will do the same.


dickyboy 2 years, 2 months ago

Lots to wonder about.... how old the driver when this happened? Could a civil suit be lodged against his parents? Could this have been part of the plea deal,that no civil suit would be filed? Just a bunch of kids having fun that turned out bad... Such a shame for all..


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