The son of lieutenant governor and gubernatorial hopeful Mark Taylor is facing felony charges in South Carolina after being involved in a fatal auto accident Thursday night while allegedly driving drunk.

Fulton Fletcher Taylor, 21, was charged by Charleston police with felony DUI after a one-car wreck on I-26 in Charleston about 11:50 p.m. Thursday. No bond amount has been set and he remains in the Charleston County jail.

Charleston police said Taylor was traveling at a high rate of speed when his 2000 Lincoln Navigator hit a guard rail rolled on its side and slid along the roadway.

Joseph Victor Gennert, 22, of Charleston, who the young Taylor described to police as his best friend, died at the scene.

According to an incident report, police found a $186 receipt from Charleston Beer Works in Taylor’s belongings, time stamped 10:05 p.m. Thursday.

The first officer at the scene reported finding Taylor sitting by the guard rail, eyes glassy and bloodshot. The incident report also said Taylor had a strong odor of alcohol and slurred speech. He was taken to a local trauma center for treatment of multiple lacerations before being transferred to the jail, the report said.

The report said investigators taped a statement from Taylor at the scene, in which they said he said he had been at the bar and “killed my best friend.”

He also reportedly admitted to having three to four drinks, the report said.

The lieutenant governor issued a statement late Friday that said, “I am deeply saddened by this tragedy. My broken heart goes out to the family involved for the loss of their son. I cannot imagine how devastated his family must be. I want everyone to please keep that family in their prayers as we deal with this.”

In July 2002, Fletcher Taylor was arrested for drug trafficking. The charges were later dropped by Fulton County prosecutor Paul Howard.

Mark Taylor has already declared as a Democratic candidate for governor in 2006.


  1. Tater Tate says:

    My sources here in the southern part of the state tell me LG Taylor is very distraught over his son. They have been somewhat estranged of late and the son has rebuffed his father’s overtures for some time. I’m told the son would not even see him when Taylor when to SC. The son will likely do 3-5 years. A terrible tragedy.

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