Driver in deadly texting, driving crash faces new charges
VERNAL — New charges have been filed against a Uintah County man accused of killing a teen in a 2012 texting and driving crash after deputies say they found guns and drugs in his truck during a traffic stop.
Jeffery Lloyd Bascom, 28, was charged Tuesday in 8th District Court with possession of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony, possession of a controlled substance, a class B misdemeanor, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.
A Uintah County sheriff's sergeant stopped Bascom shortly after midnight on April 14 after noticing his pickup truck had wide tires but no mudflaps, according to court records.
The sergeant said he spotted a .22-caliber rifle on the truck's front seat and a muzzleloader pistol on the floorboard while speaking with Bascom. During a records check, the sergeant learned Bascom had a pending felony charge, which makes it illegal for him to possess a firearm.
Bascom was charged in October with automobile homicide, a second-degree felony, in connection with a Sept. 2 crash that killed Thomas Lavelle "Tommy" Clark.
Clark, 15, and a friend were walking along the shoulder of 500 West near 1200 South about 9 p.m. when Clark was hit from behind by the pickup truck Bascom was driving. The impact threw the teen about 40 feet through the air. He landed next to a barbed-wire fence that separates a cow pasture from a roadside ditch.
Clark died the following day at Primary Children's Medical Center. His friend escaped injury.
Police officers and witnesses to the crash testified at a preliminary hearing in January that Bascom told them he had been texting and driving when he veered off the right side of the road and hit Clark. Investigators said physical evidence recovered at the crash site corroborated Bascom's admission.
A check of court records shows Bascom has a long history of traffic violations, including one conviction for alcohol-related reckless driving in 2008 and 10 citations for speeding since 2003. In three of those speeding cases, Bascom was driving more than 30 mph above the posted speed limit, court records show.
Bascom was arrested after the guns were found during the April 14 traffic stop. During a search of his truck, a sheriff's K-9 found a small nylon pouch with two pipes inside that had the odor of burnt marijuana and small amount of a green leafy substance later identified as Spice, court records state.
Bascom's first court appearance on the gun and drug charges is set for April 29. A three-day jury trial in the automobile homicide case is set to begin May 29.
In addition to the criminal cases against him, Bascom is also being sued by Clark's parents for wrongful death. No court dates have been set in the civil case.
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