RACINE -- A 71-year-old Kenosha man is charged in connection with a fatal hit-and-run crash that happened in Mount Pleasant late on Monday, Jan. 7. The accused is Johnny Taylor -- he faces a single charge of hit-and-run resulting in death.
According to the criminal complaint, a deputy with the Racine County Sheriff's Office "located a male lying in the ditch unconscious on Highway 32 near Hansche Road" around 10:45 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7. Officials later identified the victim as 18-year-old Teren Cagle. He died at Froedtert Hospital from internal and head injuries on Tuesday, Jan. 8.
Officers investigating this case reviewed a video from a nearby home.
"There is video surveillance showing his vehicle striking a bicycle that was ridden by the 18-year-old. He then circles back around the scene and drives off," said the prosecutor. "Heartless and callous actions."
Investigators also found plastic parts from a turn signal near the crash scene -- and tracked the part number on the debris to a type of vehicle. Officers then ran a check of similar vehicles registered to addresses in the area. They located a 1998 Dodge Ram on Sheridan Road in Kenosha. When officers went to check on that vehicle, they "observed the vehicle had the right front headlight missing." There was also damage to the windshield consistent with the crash they were investigating.
When questioned by investigators, Taylor, the owner of the Dodge Ram, told a detective "that he'd been driving when, all of a sudden, he thought he may have hit something because his vehicle pulled to the right, but that he was not sure if he hit anything." Taylor also indicated a woman named "Diane" was actually driving at the time of the incident -- and that she was from Waukegan.
While at the Sheridan Road address, Taylor's business, a detective "observed replacement parts for the missing headlight inside the business." The complaint indicates the detective "believed Taylor was repairing the vehicle to hide the damage."
The criminal complaint also indicates a download of Taylor's phone shows he was southbound on Highway 32 through the hit-and-run scene.
Connie Hansche lives near the scene of the crash.
"I think it's very sad. 18 years old. There's a lot of life ahead of him, or was ahead of him," Hansche said.
Hansche also told FOX6 News that Highway 32 has become increasingly dangerous.
"Used to have a shoulder out there, which was a gravel type shoulder. And that kind of gave you a little leeway out there," Hansche said. "But now with the curb, if someone's not paying attention as a driver coming up on someone, or if they have dark clothing as a bicycle rider, that's when the accidents happen."
Taylor made his initial appearance in court on Wednesday, Jan. 9. Probable cause was found for further proceedings, and a preliminary hearing was set for Jan. 16. Cash bond was set at $50,000. For the record, Taylor is a convicted felon. But his most recent crime dates back more than 18 years.