A man charged with vehicular homicide is due in court for a calendar call Thursday in anticipation of a trail that is supposed to begin on Monday, Oct. 21 – more than a year an half after the deadly crash.
Dallas resident 34-year-old Francisco Ferrer is accused of vehicular homicide after a March 25, 2012 crash that killed Jason Dale Strickland, 37, of Tallapoosa. The case will be called Thursday morning by Douglas County Superior Court Judge Robert J. James. The judge had granted what he called “one final continuance” in September after an accident reconstruction expert witness was tardy with his report.
Investigators say that Ferrer was drunk when his Honda Element hit Strickland’s Harley Davidson from behind on I-20 near Lee Road. The deadly accident occurred just before 5 a.m. in Douglas County. Strickland was returning home from Grady Hospital where he was employed as a paramedic.
Ferrer was allegedly driving home to Dallas after a night of partying, including a stop at a Fulton Industrial Boulevard strip joint. The impact threw Strickland off his motorcycle into the center travel lane, where he was hit by a truck. The police report said Ferrer was intoxicated at the time of the crash, registering .125, according to the report.
Reports indicate that Strickland’s motorcycle was actually stuck onto Ferrer’s vehicle when it finally came to a stop.
It’s not clear what motions or issues will be taken up at the calendar call, especially since defense attorney Paul White and Assistant District Attorney Ryan Leonard have sparred over the numerous delays in the case. James made it clear while awaiting the expert’s report that he wasn’t fond of the thought of any more delays.
“We’ve continued it and continued it and it has been a year and a half,” James said.
The delay has been especially tough on Strickland’s friends and family have attended virtually every hearing that has been held. Strickland’s parents were seated in the front row of the gallery when the trial date was set.
“It’s just tough because it has been a year and half and you just want it to be over,” Strickland’s mother Doris Strickland said. “It doesn’t get any easier for us. I just don’t understand all these delays. It is tough on all of us, especially his son. You can see it on his face every day.”
There are more than three dozen cases listed for Thursday’s call which is set to begin at 9:30 a.m.