Thomas C. Appleton
Mugshot courtesy Albemarle County Police
A week after a fatal crash took the life of a Charlottesville teen, the family of 18-year-old Samuel Taylor is mourning their loss as police weigh additional charges against the driver of the other vehicle allegedly involved in the accident.
Albemarle County police have revealed that the two cars were side-by-side, traveling east on Garth Road at a high speed when they made contact just before 1:15pm on Wednesday, September 5. The car driven by Taylor left the road and struck a stump and trees. Taylor died at the scene, and a passenger in his car was hospitalized after the wreck in stable condition.
The driver of the second vehicle, 24-year-old Crozet resident Thomas C. Appleton, allegedly left the scene of the accident. He has been charged with hit and run and racing on the highway. Additional charges are possible, and police spokesperson Carter Johnson says Appleton and Taylor did not know each other.
Taylor, who graduated from The Park School this past spring, was enrolled at PVCC and was a guitar and bass player who'd honed his skills at the Music Resource Center and led a band, says his father, Rolf Taylor, who recalls his son as patient and generous.
"Sam loved to share time with friends playing games, and more recently that same capacity for leadership was shown as he gave music lessons to anyone that wanted to learn," says the elder Taylor in an email, expressing both grief and gratitude even in the face of personal loss.
"We're fortunate," he says, "to not be dealing with two fatalities."
A memorial service for Taylor will be held Thursday, September 13 at 4pm at Hill & Wood Funeral Home with a musical tribute taking place from 5:30-7pm at the Music Resource Center.
-Story updated Tuesday, September 11 at 10:39am
-Original headline: "Drag race death: Arrest made in fatal Garth Road crash"