On June 14, 2022, Taylor Paz entered a plea in the Jan. 2, 2021 DUI crash that resulted in the death of Catherine Gable, 32, of Winder. Gable survived for a week but passed away on Jan. 9, 2021. Paz was subsequently charged with two counts of felony first degree homicide by vehicle and two felony counts of serious injury by vehicle as well misdemeanor charged of driving under the influence, driving under the influence less safe (alcohol) and speeding. She initially pleaded not guilty, but Alcovy Judicial Circuit District Attorney Randy McGinley said she changed her plea to guilty and was sentenced today.
“Her sentence was 30 years with the first 11 years in prison,” McGinley said. “Once released she will have to be evaluated for substance abuse and comply with any treatment, she waived her 4th amendment rights, and she cannot drive without permission of the court.”
McGinley said Paz was taken into custody at the time of her plea.
Taylor Paz, charged in the January 2021 crash that resulted in the death of Catherine Gable, 32, of Winder, was in a Walton County courtroom on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, for a motion hearing. The case was heard in front of Alcovy Circuit Superior Court Judge Ken Wynne. Alcovy Circuit Court District Attorney Randy McGinley said the case was continued by mutual agreement.
Paz is charged with two counts of felony first degree homicide by vehicle and two felony counts of serious injury by vehicle as well misdemeanor charged of driving under the influence, driving under the influence less safe (alcohol) and speeding. She has pleaded not guilty and is currently out on bond. McGinley said it is possible for her to change her plea.
“That would be up to Ms Paz and her attorney,” he said. Paz will be back in court on March 1, 2022.
The head-on crash took place on Bay Creek Church Road on Jan. 2, 2021. Gable succumbed to her injures a week later on Jan. 9, 2021.
The most seriously injured in the head-on collision on Bay Creek Church Road on Jan. 2 did not survive her injuries. According to Georgia State Patrol, Catherine Gable has passed away as a result of the injuries she sustained in this accident. Charges are pending on the driver of the other vehicle based on the results of the investigation and toxicology.
The victims in the head-on collision on Bay Creek Church Road on Jan. 2 face an uphill battle as they begin the New Year with severe injuries and mounting medical bills. Julie Miller, the mother of Catherine Gable the driver who was severely injured, has started a GoFundMe account to help the family deal with the outcome of the accident. The driver of the at-fault vehicle is facing possible DUI charges as a result of the accident.
“On Jan. 2, 2021 my 32-yr-old daughter, Catherine Gable, was driving home in the afternoon with her 22 yr old brother, Ryan Reavely and her two children, 11 yr old Hailey and 8 yr old Hayden when they were struck head on by an (alleged) drunk driver. Their suv wound up rolling onto it’s drivers side causing my daughter to hit her head and cause her brain to swell and severe damage to her brain stem. My son ended up with a fractured hip and had to have surgery, walking with a walker and now requires physical therapy, he is in immense pain and struggles everyday. My granddaughter has severe seat belt burns on her collar bone and across her stomach, she hurts everywhere and has a hard time turning her head. My grandson managed to get out with only a few minor bumps and bruises,” Miller wrote in the GoFundMe. “My daughter Catherine is the glue, the rock, the most amazing mother and sister i have ever seen and if she doesn’t pull through these children will be devastated. This family will need follow up medical care and the hospital bills are already starting to pile up.”
If anyone is in a position to help, the GoFundme Account can be found at this link.
Possible DUI and serious injury by vehicle charges pending
Cps. Cal Barton with Georgia State Patrol confirmed that charges are pending in the head-on collision on Bay Creek Church Road on Saturday evening. He said the charges would depend on the outcome of the injuries and completion of the investigation. The call had come in to GSP from 911 at about 6.18 p.m. on Jan. 2, 2021.
Barton said the collision involved a 2018 Ford Explorer that was driven by Taylor Paz, 28, of Loganville. She was traveling south on Bay Creek Church Road approaching Shiloh Road when she crossed over the yellow line and struck a 2002 Ford Expedition head-on that was traveling north. Barton said the Ford Explorer flipped over and landed upside down. The Ford Expedition landed on its side and first responders had to work for a considerable time to extricate the driver from the vehicle.
“The Ford Expedition was driven by Catherine Gable, 32, of Winder. She had three passengers, two juveniles and one 22-year-old,” Barton said. “All were transported to Northside Gwinnett. Ms. Paz went to Piedmont Athens.”
Barton said that Paz is charged with failing to maintain lane.
“She is also suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs and further charges may be filed depending on outcome of the injuries to Ms. Gable,” Barton said. “She could be charged with serious injury by vehicle. A reconstruction team was called in. We will sometimes get a jump on the investigation and the reconstruction team will come in and assist us with the investigation.”
At this time Gable’s injuries are still considered serious.
(Editor’s Note: A charge or arrest does not constitute a conviction)
Walton County Sheriff’s Office reported that Bay Creek Church Road was shut down at about 7:30 p.m. due to a serious car wreck. Three people received minor injuries and one received critical injuries. WCSO reports that the road is likely to be shut down for an extended period due to an accident reconstruction team being call out.
“There was an extended extrication completed by the fire service personnel on scene,” said Assistant Fire Chief Craig League with Walton County Fire Rescue. “(Georgia State Patrol) is working the wreck.”
Cpl. Cal Barton With GSP said two vehicles were involved in a head-on collision.
“Both drivers are being transported and passengers from the vehicles,” Barton said. “Names are being withheld for now.”