2 charged in fiery road rage crash in Preble County appear in court

ajc.com

Gratis-area couple facing felony charges both free on bond, which was set at $50K each by judge.

A Preble County man and woman were in common pleas court Tuesday for hearings on felony charges in connection with a fiery crash that critically injured a Franklin teen in September.

Taylor Nicole Daley, 22, and Thaddeus Michael Brown, 20, were indicted by a Preble County grand jury last week and booked into the Preble County Jail. Daley is charged with two counts of felonious assault, three counts of aggravated vehicular assault and aggravated assault. Brown is charged with two counts of felonious assault, three counts of aggravated vehicular assault, aggravated assault, inciting violence and endangering children.

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Bond was set by Common Pleas Judge Stephen Bruns at $50,000 each with a 10% rule. Both are free on bond.

Thaddeus Michael Brown PREBLE COUNTY JAIL
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Thaddeus Michael Brown PREBLE COUNTY JAIL

Daley has hired the Dayton law firm of Rion, Rion & Rion to represent her. A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 2 and a trial for Aug. 9.

Brown requested and was appointed a public defender. Brown is scheduled to be back in court Friday with his attorney.

The Gratis-area couple, who are engaged according to social media posts, were charged after a lengthy investigation into a crash on Sept. 19 that injured Megan Riley of Franklin.

Taylor Nicole Daley PREBLE COUNTY JAIL
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Taylor Nicole Daley PREBLE COUNTY JAIL

Riley, now 20, called Preble County 911 dispatchers frantically screaming that a vehicle was trying to run her off the road at about 1:20 a.m. Riley was traveling north on Ohio 503 in Preble County, and the SUV she was driving went off the road and burst into flames.

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Riley was pulled from the wreckage with second- and third-degree burns on more than 50% of her body and was taken by medical helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. She underwent multiple surgeries and physical therapy and is continuing to recover, according to family members.

The Preble County Sheriff’s Office and Ohio State Highway Patrol teamed to investigate the apparent incident of road rage, Sheriff Michael Simpson said in October.

Karla Edwards, Riley’s grandmother who lives in Madison Twp., described her as a fighter who struggled to recover when doctors had little hope.

“She is learning to live with her disabilities. It is hard for her to use right hand and arm. She will be in leg braces the rest of her life. She is in constant pain and that will not get better. Mentally and emotionally she will never be the same. She has a long hard road in front of her. The scars and damage to her body will always be a constant reminder of what she has gone through,” Edwards said.

The incident stemmed from a bonfire party attended by Riley and several other people at a house at Somers-Gratis Road. Alcohol consumption was part of the gathering, according to an investigative file obtained by the Journal-News.

Multiple people, some of them teens, gave statements about what caused the dispute, with varying stories. Riley left the party driving a Toyota 4-Runner, and another vehicle followed, according to the investigation. When the crash happened, the vehicles were side by side on state Route 503 traveling in excess of 90 mph, according to the highway patrol. The speed limit on the road is 55 mph.

After an extensive investigation, including several search warrants involving cellular phones and social media sites, the case was presented to a grand jury, Simpson said.

Burned and wrecked SUV driven by Megan Riley on Sept. 19 on Ohio 503 in Preble County SUBMITTED
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Burned and wrecked SUV driven by Megan Riley on Sept. 19 on Ohio 503 in Preble County SUBMITTED

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