A thorough investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Technical Crash Investigations Unit showed Joshua A. Bailey, 24, of the 19600 block of 82nd Street, Bristol, WI, was driving the Dodge Caliber involved in this crash. As he was driving northbound, William Stephens, then 39, of Antioch, was driving northbound in the Ford Taurus.
Bailey passed Stephens and several other vehicles at a high rate of speed as they traveled northbound on Route 45, in a no passing zone. When Stephens reached a legal passing zone, he began to pass Bailey, but Bailey swerved toward Stephens to prevent him from passing. This caused Stephens to drive onto the gravel shoulder and lose control. During the control loss, Stephens struck the Dodge. Stephens’ vehicle then rolled and he was ejected from the Ford.
Following the investigation, sheriff’s crash investigators met with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office to review the facts and circumstances of the incident. The state’s attorney’s office approved the following charges for Bailey due to his role in the fatal crash:
Reckless Homicide (Class 3 Felony)
Aggravated Reckless Driving (Class 4 Felony)
Aggravated Street Racing (Class 4 Felony)
On March 18, 2021, sheriff’s crash investigators presented the facts to a Lake County Judge who authorized and signed the warrant, setting the bond at $350,000.00.
Bailey was arrested on March 19, 2021, as he was leaving his residence by members of the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office. Bailey currently remains held in the Kenosha County Jail pending extradition hearings.
Sheriff John D. Idleburg said, “A life was senselessly lost due to what appears to be ego mixed with road rage. The circumstances of this case serve as a stark reminder to not let anger get in the way of safe driving. We hope this first step in the justice process helps to bring additional closure to the Stephens family.”
All defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
Fatal Unincorporated Antioch Traffic Crash
On October 17, 2020, at approximately 4:05PM, Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to Route 45 north of Route 173, Unincorporated Antioch, for a traffic crash with injuries. Sheriff’s Deputies arrived and located two vehicles with major damage.
Based on evidence at the scene and witness statements, the preliminary investigation shows a Dodge Caliber and a Ford Taurus were traveling northbound on Route 45, north of Route 173. The driver of the Ford, a 39-year-old man of Antioch*, attempted to pass the Dodge, as they both traveled northbound. The driver of the Dodge, a 23-year-old male of Bristol, Wisconsin, swerved toward the Ford, causing the Ford to maneuver toward the shoulder of the southbound lanes. The driver of the Ford then lost control, and while correcting, struck the Dodge. This caused the Ford to roll and the driver to be ejected.
The driver of the Ford was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville with critical injuries. He later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased. A 36-year-old female passenger and a 6-year-old female passenger in the Ford were transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the Dodge was transported to St. Catherine’s Hospital in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with non-life-threating injuries.
The Lake County Coroner’s Office responded and an autopsy on the driver of the Ford is pending.
The crash remains under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Technical Crash Investigations Unit.