Wisconsin Motorist Arrested in Fatal October 2020 Crash on Route 45 North of Route 173, Unincorporated, Antioch

Joshua A. Bailey (SOURCE: Law Enforcement)
Joshua A. Bailey facing reckless homicide and aggravated reckless driving (SOURCE: Law Enforcement)

Following a thorough investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Technical Crash Investigations Unit of a fatal crash involving a Dodge Caliber and a Ford Taurus on Route 45 just north of Route 173, investigators determined that Joshua A. Bailey, 24, of the 19600 block of 82nd Street, Bristol, WI, was driving the Dodge Caliber. William Stephens, Antioch resident killed at age 39, was driving the Ford Taurus.

Investigators say Bailey passed Stephens and several other vehicles at a high rate of speed as they traveled northbound on Route 45, in a no passing zone. When Stephens reached a legal passing zone, he began to pass Bailey, but Bailey swerved toward Stephens to prevent him from passing. This caused Stephens to drive onto the gravel shoulder and lose control. When Stephens lost control, his Ford Taurus struck the Dodge. Stephens’ Ford Taurus then rolled and he was ejected from the vehicle. Northbound US-45 is one lane with a narrow shoulder and a Speed Limit of 55 MPH, according to Google Maps Street View. A northbound right curve is located north of the intersection with Route 173. There are two southbound lanes of US-45 close to the intersection.

Following the investigation, sheriff’s crash investigators met with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office to review the facts and circumstances of the incident. The state’s attorney’s office approved the following charges for Bailey due to his role in the fatal crash:

Reckless Homicide (Class 3 Felony)

Aggravated Reckless Driving (Class 4 Felony)

Aggravated Street Racing (Class 4 Felony)

On Thursday, March 18, 2021, sheriff’s crash investigators presented the facts to a Lake County Judge who authorized and signed the warrant, setting the bond at $350,000.00.

Bailey was arrested by members of the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, March 19, 2021, as he was leaving his residence. Bailey currently remains held in the Kenosha County Jail pending extradition hearings.

“A life was senselessly lost due to what appears to be ego mixed with road rage. The circumstances of this case serve as a stark reminder to not let anger get in the way of safe driving. We hope this first step in the justice process helps to bring additional closure to the Stephens family.”

— Sheriff John D. Idleburg

All defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

On the day of the crash fatal crash last October 2020 — Saturday, October 17, 2020 — police and firefighter/paramedics from Antioch responded about 4:05 p.m. to a report of a crash with ejection on Route 45 north of Route 173 in unincorporated Antioch.

Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies on arrival located two vehicles — a Ford Taurus and a Dodge Caliber with major damage at the crash near Gander RV.

The driver of the Ford Taurus, William Stephens, was transported to Level 1 Trauma Center Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville with critical injuries. A short time later Stephens succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at the hospital. A 36-year-old female passenger and a 6-year-old female passenger in the Ford Taurus were also transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the Dodge, Joshua A. Bailey, was transported to St. Catherine’s Hospital in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with injuries that initially appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries.

Based on evidence at the scene and witness statements within 24 hours following the fatal crash, the preliminary investigation indicated that Bailey driving the Dodge Caliber and Stephens driving the Ford Taurus were both traveling northbound on Route 45, north of Route 173. The circumstances initially discovered are consistent with the facts that the Lake County Sheriff’s Office crash investigators presented to the Lake County Judge on Thursday, March 18, 2021.


According to the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office, Joshua Allen Bailey has a previous criminal history (August 18, 2017) of charges of …

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Possession of Marijuana

Disorderly Conduct

Child Abuse (Intentionally Cause Harm)

Northbound US-45 near Route 173 and Gander RV in Antioch Township (©2020 Google)
Northbound US-45 near Route 173 and Gander RV in Antioch Township (©2020 Google)

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Joshua A. Bailey (SOURCE: Law Enforcement)
Joshua A. Bailey facing reckless homicide and aggravated reckless driving (SOURCE: Law Enforcement)

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