Local man indicted in 2010 traffic death

Becky Campbell • Nov 19, 2013 at 7:07 AM

A Washington County man was arrested last month on a vehicular homicide charge related to a 2010 head-on crash that killed a former Sullivan County commissioner.

Floyd Eugene Bailey, 55, 293 Rockingham Road, Gray, was indicted in a single-count presentment in November 2010 for the Feb. 16, 2010, crash that killed 88-year-old Rita Groseclose, of Kingsport.

District Attorney General Tony Clark said Bailey had oxycodone in his system, and that was a contributing factor in the wreck.

The crash happened in Boones Creek on North Roan Street near Roseview Drive around 2:30 p.m. Bailey was headed north on Roan Street when his 1994 Chevrolet pickup crossed the center line into the southbound lane and hit Groseclose’s Buick LeSabre head-on, the Johnson City Police Department’s crash report said.

Police reported two Johnson City firefighters on a driver-training assignment witnessed the crash. One of those witnesses said the impact was “so severe the back end of the S-10 came off the ground.”

Both Groseclose and Bailey were trapped in their vehicles and had to be extricated by rescuers. They were each transported to the Johnson City Medical Center, where Groseclose was pronounced dead on arrival.

Bailey suffered serious injuries from the crash, the report said.

State prosecutors took the case to the grand jury in November 2010 and the panel indicted Bailey. Court records show a warrant was issued for Bailey’s arrest Nov. 16, 2010, but it was only served on him Oct. 31. Bailey bonded out of the Washington County Detention Center the same day after posting the $25,000 necessary for his release.

He is scheduled to be arraigned in the case in Criminal Court on Jan. 21.

Clark said he isn’t sure what took so long for Bailey to be arrested, but plans to look into the delay.

“We had to get the lab reports back, but all of that was in prior to us going to the grand jury,” Clark said.

“There was no alcohol involved. The lab tests were negative for alcohol,” but Bailey had drugs in his system at the time of the fatal collision, he said.

“The TBI lab report shows oxycodone,” Clark said.

Groseclose was a retired Kingsport city school teacher, spending 32 years in the system before retiring in 1982. She remained active throughout her life in numerous civic organizations in addition to serving several years as a county commissioner.

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