Jury rules accident was homicide

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 24, 2003

A jury has decided that the death of a Marion woman was more than just an accident.

Tasha Morrow died on Dec. 8, 2000, after a car she was riding in collided with a log truck on U.S. Highway 80. The driver of that truck, Larry Wayne Compton, was convicted of vehicular homicide this week after District Attorney Ed Greene argued that Compton did not exercise reasonable caution while driving the truck.

According to evidence presented at the trial, Compton had just finished loading his truck with logs at dark and he stopped his tractor-trailer at an intersection of U.S. 80. After allowing a group of cars to pass, Compton decided he had enough time to cross the west-bound lane of the highway and merge onto the east-bound lane.

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Apparently no one approaching Compton’s truck actually saw him. Three cars crashed into the logs almost immediately. Two of those cars were driven by residents of Marion Junction and Uniontown. The passengers in those cars survived.

Morrow, however, was not as fortunate.

Morrow did not survive the accident. The driver, Adam Paintor, was seriously injured, but regained consciousness the next day.

In the trial, defense attorneys argued that Compton made a bad judgment. They claimed the wreck was an accident. But Greene did not buy the argument, and neither did the jury.

Greene also argued that any reasonable person would know that blocking U.S. 80 in the dark could cause extreme danger for oncoming vehicles.

A Dallas County jury agreed with Greene and convicted Compton of vehicular homicide.

According to Greene, a pre-sentence report has been ordered and a sentencing hearing will be held once the order is complete.