Driver who Left Two Dead in Columbia Found Guilty of Manslaughter

Joseph Gary Lawrence, of Columbia, is scheduled to be sentenced in June.


Joseph Gary Lawrence of Columbia was found guilty Wednesday of two counts of negligent manslaughter by automobile.

Judge Timothy J. McCrone ruled Lawrence, 23, caused the death of Matthew James Miranda, 22, of Columbia, and Urooj Zehra Isfahani, 31, of Columbia, after he lost control of his car around 8 a.m. on Nov. 10, 2010.

that just before 8 a.m. on Nov. 10 a 2004 Saturn Ion driven by Lawrence was going westbound on MD 175 with Matthew Miranda in the passenger seat.

The car crossed the median and collided head-on with Isfahani, who was driving a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan eastbound on MD 175. Miranda was not wearing a safety belt and was ejected in the collision. Isfahani and Miranda were later pronounced dead at Howard County General Hospital.

Lawrence suffered two broken ankles and internal stomach injuries as a result of the collision, according to the statement of the facts report.

An expert in traffic reconstruction had determined Lawrence was traveling between 68 and 74 mph on a spare tire in an area with a 55 mph speed limit when the accident occurred, according to the report. 

Sentencing is set for June 20. The state will recommend five years, suspending all but 18 months, plus five years of supervised probation, according to Wayne Kirwan, a spokesperson for the state’s attorney’s office.

Matt M April 11, 2012 at 08:41 PM
55 mph speed limit on 175? Interesting.
Christine April 12, 2012 at 12:53 PM
The wording on this headline is really misleading. I was expecting him to have actually left them in the car dead and fled the site, but with two broken ankles, that seems highly unlikely.
Brook Hubbard April 12, 2012 at 02:30 PM
I hope they take his license away permanently, too. People like this should not be allowed to drive... ever. What kind of idiot thinks it's OK to drive 12-19 mph over the limit on a spare tire? A driver's license is not a constitutional right. If you're too stupid, ignorant, or selfish to know how to drive safely, you don't have a right to be on the road and put the rest of us at risk.
Andrew Metcalf April 12, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Sorry for the confusion, but it just meant after the crash two were dead, while the defendant survived.


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