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Utah man pleads not guilty to texting behind the wheel during fatal crash

Published January 24, 2013 2:32 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A 28-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to charges alleging that he hit and killed a teen while texting behind the wheel last year.

Jeffery Lloyd Bascom entered the plea on Wednesday during a preliminary hearing in 8th District Court after a judge found there was enough evidence for the man to stand trial on the charge of automobile homicide involving the use of a hand-held wireless communication device, a second-degree felony.

Before the hearing began, prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss a second charge, obstruction of justice, a third-degree felony.

Vernal police say Thomas LaVelle Clark, 15, and a friend were walking on the shoulder of 500 West near 1300 South at about 9 p.m. on Sept. 2 when a Dodge pickup driven by Bascom drifted off the road and hit Clark. Police allege Bascom was texting at the time.

Clark was taken to a hospital and died the next day.

A three-day jury trial was scheduled to begin on May 29. Bascom will be back in court on April 24 for a pretrial conference.

Meanwhile, the victim's family has filed a wrongful death suit against Bascom.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller