Trial for Buchanan man in fatal OWI crash postponed

Published 1:35 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2023

BERRIEN COUNTY — The trial date for a Buchanan man who allegedly drove drunk and killed a Berrien County Road Department worker last July has been delayed.

Berrien County Assistant Prosecutor Jerry Vigansky reported that the trial for Taylor Ryan Johnson has been delayed until April. He had been set to go to trial in mid-February. Vigansky reported that Johnson and his attorney requested the delay.

Johnson will next be in court on March 27 for a final status conference. The trial itself is set for the week of April 12 before Berrien County Trial Judge Jennifer Smith at the Niles courthouse.

This is the second time the trial has been delayed. He has initially been set for trial in early January.

Johnson, 34, of Buchanan, is charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death in connection with the death of road department worker William “Mack” Isom, 57, of Baroda. That charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10.000.

The incident occurred July 20, 2022 on Red Bud Trail near Glendora Road in Oronoko Township. Isom had been working on cutting up a fallen tree which was in the roadway across Red Bud Trail.  Isom had worked for the road department for over two decades.