SHEBOYGAN – A 33-year-old Sheboygan man, suspected of driving a car into Pigeon River before departing while the passenger stayed at the scene, was charged recently in Sheboygan County Court with several felonies and misdemeanors in connection with the March 25 incident.
Prosecutors charged Andrew F. Christian with felonies for hit and run causing great bodily harm, and operating while intoxicated causing injury (second and subsequent offense), both felonies. Christian is also facing misdemeanors for operating a motor vehicle while revoked causing great bodily harm to another, and for obstructing an officer.
According to a criminal complaint, a county sheriff’s deputy dispatched to a report of a car in the river found Christian in another vehicle along Rangeline Road. Christian had a large cut to the side of his head — which officials later said was consistent with evidence that the driver of the car found in the river would have struck his head against the windshield.
Christian told a deputy he’d been out for a walk and had fallen off a railroad trestle, though the deputy noted most of his pants were wet — “as if he had been walking in a river,” according to the criminal complaint.
The responding deputy also noted Christian’s words were slurred and that he had a hard time balancing. Christian later told deputies he’d been at a bar that evening, and that he had been walking along railroad tracks between Sheboygan and Haven.
At the scene of the crash, a deputy reported finding a 22-year-old man slumped over by the car, which was found in about 2 to 4 feet of water. The official noted swelling and “deformities” in the man’s right arm and on his legs. The report also notes his injuries, most seriously to his right side but none with significant bleeding, would have been consistent with him sitting in the passenger seat.
A deputy’s investigation indicated the car had appeared to leave the road “quite a distance” from where it was found in the river, and a criminal complaint notes the vehicle had apparently gone airborne before landing in the water: Nearby trees were sheared off, apparently by the car, about 12 to 15 feet above the ground.
The car had significant damage to its passenger side. The driver’s side was more intact, though a deputy’s report noted “a large amount of blood on the driver’s side,” including on the windshield, raising suspicions the driver had struck his head on the windshield.
At the hospital, Christian initially declined to offer a blood sample because, according to the criminal complaint, he said he hadn’t been driving, though he subsequently said “sure” to a deputy’s questioning and a medical technician drew his blood for testing. Results of the blood test were still pending by the time prosecutors filed charges.
The complaint notes Christian had previously been convicted twice, most recently in 2017, for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
A woman allegedly driving while high rear-ended a cop car inside a parking lot on Long Island, sparking a fire that quickly engulfed her vehicle before police officers were able to pull her out, authorities say.
Nassau County police say an officer was conducting a traffic stop at a parking lot on Burnside Avenue in Inwood Tuesday when the driver of a 2014 Audi came into the lot and crashed into the back of the police car.
The Audi burst into flames, and police pulled the driver, 34-year-old Marsha T. Ellis, from the car, Nassau police said. Inwood firefighters responded and knocked out the fire.
The police officer was taken to a local hospital with neck, back and shoulder pain.
Ellis, who was also taken to a local hospital with another officer for smoke inhalation, was arrested after investigation, police said. She’s accused of driving while ability impaired, and is also suspected of stealing an iPhone from a local store earlier in the day.
She’s charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, driving while ability impaired by drugs, third-degree assault, fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana, and nine vehicle and traffic law charges.
Ellis is expected to be arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead on Wednesday. It’s not clear if she has an attorney who could comment on the charges.
Dilbert : I hate it when the title gives away the plot!
Fat pheasants wandered quite leisurely around this area. Why, we wondered, would one decide to cross Sowley Lane?
Jeffrey Bilyak, 46, of Chesterton, appeared on video in LaPorte Circuit Court for his initial hearing Friday.
He was in the LaPorte County Jail when Judge Tom Alevizos scheduled a hearing for May 4 to decide whether to reduce his $20,000 bail.
Alevizos also ordered a background check to look over before ruling on the request.
Bilyak turned himself in Wednesday on arrest warrants for Level 4 felony operating while intoxicated causing death, Level 5 felony reckless homicide and two counts of operating while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury.
Heather Widing, 47, died a day after the Feb. 15 crash on U.S. 421 near LaCrosse.
She was heading to a hospital in Indianapolis in the back of an ambulance hit by an oncoming Bilyak while trying to pass in very dense fog in a no-passing zone, according to court documents.
A Selden man was impaired by drugs when he crashed his car into a house Thursday evening in Copiague, police said.
Taylor Lynne, 36, was arrested and charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and criminal possession of a controlled substance, Suffolk County police said Friday morning.
Lynne was driving a 1999 Toyota Camry at 5:15 p.m. on Verrazano Avenue, near Dixon Avenue, when he lost control of the car and crashed into a home in the 200 block of Verrazano, police said.
Lynne was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries, police said. It was unclear when he would be arraigned.
Colonel Sanders : I missed one?
The fatal crash happened on April 11, 2016 in Muskegon County near Casnovia. Michael O’Berry, 25, hit a semi-truck on Apple Avenue while driving on Trent Road. His older brother Nathan O’Berry died in the accident.
A urine sample confirmed a presence of active THC in Michael O’Berry’s system, said Muskegon County Prosecutor Chief Trial Attorney Matt Roberts Monday. The felony charge for driving under the influence of a Schedule I controlled substance carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
Drunk driving accidents took the lives of more than 10,000 people in 2016, a report by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. But “drugged driving” accidents are an increasing problem. And the National Institute of Drug Abuse said marijuana is the drug most-linked to impaired driving after alcohol.
In fact, driving on drugs was linked to more deaths in 2015 than driving drunk, according to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association and Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.
In Michigan, an at-fault driver with any amount of a Schedule I drug, including marijuana, can be criminally charged like O’Berry. However, state courts have said if the driver is a medical marijuana cardholder, the prosecutors have to prove the driver was “impaired by the presence of marijuana in his [or her] body.”
Some states have laws for marijuana-impaired driving set to a specific number of nanograms. Michigan needs to create a sliding scale system for marijuana-impaired driving legislation, or punishments will be unbalanced, said Andrew Rodenhouse, a criminal defense attorney at Rodenhouse Kuipers PC in Grand Rapids.
“If somebody doesn’t feel the effects of THC…they pass the roadside sobriety tests, only to—later on—have blood results come back saying they had a de minimis amount…they will be prosecuted,” Rodenhouse said.