Essex Man Convicted of Vehicular Manslaughter

RE: Conviction of Joshua Zimmerman

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced the conviction of Joshua Zimmerman, 32, from Essex, Maryland for vehicular manslaughter.

On December 27, 2020 at 7:40 a.m, a Maryland Department of Natural Resources Officer was heading to work when he observed a Ford pickup truck that was laying on its side near 3440 Conowingo Road in Street, Maryland. The officer stopped to see if anyone needed assistance and observed Joshua Zimmerman exiting the vehicle from the driver’s side. The officer also found the victim, Regina Welch, unresponsive on the side of the road after she had been ejected from the passenger seat of the vehicle. The Maryland State Police arrived on scene and transported Ms. Welch to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma by helicopter. Despite extensive lifesaving efforts, on December 29, 2020, Ms. Welch succumbed to her injuries.

When State Police troopers spoke with Mr. Zimmerman at the scene, his speech was slurred, he could barely walk without assistance or falling and displayed constricted pupils, which is an indication of being under the influence of some type of drug. Mr. Zimmerman was then transported to Upper Chesapeake to have his blood drawn to test for the possible presence of any controlled substance in his system. On May 27, 2021, the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division completed their analysis of Mr. Zimmerman’s blood which was found to contain alprazolam, methadone, fentanyl, cocaine, and benzoylecgonine (a cocaine metabolite).

A subsequently conducted Maryland State Police accident reconstruction concluded that Mr. Zimmerman was driving a 2008 Ford F-150 truck northbound on Route 1 when it drifted off the right side of roadway and into a grassy ditch and brush line and then struck a standing tree with its right front end. The Ford continued through the ditch and overturned onto its left side near 3440 Conowingo Road. Ms. Welch was ejected from truck as it overturned.

On June 3, 2022, Joshua Zimmerman pled guilty to the top count of vehicular manslaughter. Following victim impact statements made by the victim’s parents, stepfather and sister, the Honorable Diane Adkins-Tobin sentenced him to 7 years to be served in the Division of Corrections. The maximum penalty of vehicular manslaughter is 10 years. Upon release, Mr. Zimmerman will be subject to five years of supervised probation and an additional 3 years of incarceration should he be found in violation of that probation.

Mr. Peisinger thanked Assistant State’s Attorney Angela Diehl who prosecuted this matter and commended the Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland State Police, the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division as well as all other first responders for their collective teamwork and dedication which resulted in the arrest and conviction of Joshua Zimmerman.