Texting driver in fatal crash sued by victim's parents
The driver faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted
By Geoff Liesik
Deseret Morning News
VERNAL, Utah — A Uintah County woman has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a man who police say hit and killed her teenage son while texting and driving. Evie Lesser filed the suit this week in 8th District Court against Jeffrey Lloyd Bascom.
Lesser is asking a jury to award her and her former husband for the loss of their son, Thomas Lavelle "Tommy" Clark.
The lawsuit also list several "John Does" as defendants, identifying them only as individuals or businesses "who may have contributed to the cause of the accident" that led to Clark's death.
Lesser's attorney, Daniel Sam, would not comment on the lawsuit when contacted by the Deseret News.
On Sept. 2, Clark 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 15-year-old about 40 feet through the air. He landed next to a barbed wire fence that separates a cow pasture from a roadside ditch. Clark's friend escaped injury.
Bascom, 28, remained at the crash site and told investigators he was texting at the time he struck Clark, said Vernal Assistant Police Chief Keith Campbell.
Bascom's statement was consistent with the physical evidence at the scene, Campbell said.
Clark was taken by ambulance to Ashley Regional Medical Center and then transferred by helicopter to Primary Children's Medical Center. He died the following day after he was removed from life support.
Bascom is charged in 8th District Court with automobile homicide, a second-degree felony, and obstruction of justice, a third-degree felony. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 23.
Bascom faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, if he's convicted.