One year after tragic wreck
Teenager’s sentence includes public service video
by Wes Mayer
Near Christmas 2012, a tragic accident occurred when a young driver drove through a red light, resulting in critical injuries to several involved parties, and ultimately the untimely death of a young girl.
Taylor Long, the driver charged in the tragic accident, is now serving his 12-month sentence.
Part of his sentence involves Long working with the family of the victim, Abby Bacho, on a public service announcement video.
The Bacho family has created a minute-long video covering the tragic accident and the importance of drivers paying attention to the road and traffic signals.
The video can be viewed on YouTube by searching “Abby’s Angels — A Public Service Announcement”
“All I remember is … impact,” Long said in the video. “Every day of my life, I wake up thinking about it, go to sleep thinking about it.”
On Dec. 22, 2012, Long, now 19, was traveling southbound on Newnan Crossing Bypass. He ran a red light at the intersection of Lower Fayetteville Road, and hit the Bacho family’s car in the driver’s side. Both Abby and her father were severely injured, and Abby passed away on Christmas Day.
Several of Abby’s organs were donated. Her heart, kidneys, liver and corneas were transplanted that day.
Long was charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter — it was not considered a felony because Long was not driving recklessly or under the influence, said Traffic Sgt. Lane Yearta with the Newnan Police Department.
An investigation revealed Long may have been talking on his cell phone, but authorities do not believe he was texting and driving. Yearta said it could not be determined whether the phone was disconnected before the accident.
Long was additionally charged with a window tint violation and possession of an alcoholic beverage by a person under the age of 21, said Coweta County Solicitor Sandy Wisenbaker. According to Wisenbaker, Long’s unopened containers of beer were found in the back seat — Long was not driving under the influence.
These charges carried a consecutive six- and 12-month probation period, respectively. Long pleaded guilty to these charges in a plea deal on Sept. 24, 2013.
According to Yearta, Long was sentenced to serve a total of 12 months. Six of these months Long will spend in jail — on a work release schedule where he will work during the day but return to jail at night.
The remaining six months he will serve on probation, and Long can’t operate a motor vehicle during the entire 12 months. Long must also complete 120 hours of community service, and was ordered to help work on and create a public service announcement video with the family of the victim.
Abby Bacho’s memory lives on thanks to the Abby’s Angels Foundation, a local organization created by her family that provides school supplies to school children in need. The foundation helped create Abby’s Closets in schools. The Bacho family has created a Facebook page for Abby’s Angels where they spread their faith and love for Abby, and they sell handmade bracelets to raise money for the charity — the page is covered in photos of supporters wearing these bracelets.
According to the Abby’s Angels Foundation Facebook page, there are a few upcoming events for which those interested may now register.
Registration has opened for the Abby’s Angels Foundation 5K Rainbow Run/Family Fun Day, scheduled for April 19 at the Coweta County Fairgrounds — with all proceeds going toward the foundation. Those interested may sign up on the event’s Facebook page or by emailing email@example.com.
This month, the Hudson Family Foundation will be promoting a dual concert at the Auburn Arena, with Jeff Foxworthy on Jan. 23 and Rascal Flatts on Jan. 24. The Abby’s Angels Foundation was chosen as the benefit of the fundraiser, and will be receiving 50 percent of the profits. Abby’s Angels is still providing tickets to both shows, and those interested may contact their Facebook page or firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to purchase tickets.
The family also hopes to make a longer, second public service announcement video and additionally interview Newnan Police Officer Van Meadows, who worked the accident. Meadows said the family hopes the video, once created, will be played throughout schools in Coweta County in driver’s education classes.