2017-12-07 / Courts

Did accident lead to drinking? Strange case.


A SUTTONS BAY driver under the influence of a prescription medication left the road and crashed into some trees last week in Bingham Township. A SUTTONS BAY driver under the influence of a prescription medication left the road and crashed into some trees last week in Bingham Township. Drinking is the cause for many automobile accidents. In Empire, an accident may have led to drinking, which led to another accident.

Two Fennville men were arrested on Saturday following reports of separate motor vehicle accidents that deputies believe were caused by them, according to a report from the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Office.

One of the men, Shawn E. Bash, 38, was arrested for his third offense drunken driving offense. Bash was arraigned on the charge Tuesday in 86th District Court. He was also arraigned on charges of drunk and disorderly conduct and failure to report an accident.

The first of the two accidents took place at about 5:30 a.m., with deputies responding to Lake Street near Front Street on a call of a single-vehicle accident, according to the report. Deputies found a silver 1996 Infiniti off the west side of Lake Street with significant damage.

An investigation showed the Infiniti had been heading south when it veered off the side of the road and struck a parked 2010 Ford Fusion, the report said. The vehicle then crossed over to the other side of the road, where it struck a traffic sign.

Bash, who was driving the vehicle, left the scene on foot but was later located, interviewed and cited for leaving the scene of a traffic accident, according to the report.

At about 11:50 p.m. the same day, deputies responded to a call of an accident at the Lakeshore Inn in downtown Empire.

Witnesses told deputies they had observed a black pick-up truck back into a parked Honda passenger vehicle, the report said. The witnesses observed two men get out of the black truck, look at the damaged Honda and then walk into a room at the Inn, the report said.

The witnesses also told deputies that the two men saw them watching, after which one of the men tried to enter the witnesses’ room, according to the report.

Deputies identified the two suspects as Bash, who was the driver in the earlier accident and a 32-year-old man. The 32-year-old had driven north from Fennville after being called to help his friend Bash, who had totaled his vehicle, the report said.

Both men began to drink and at some point decided they needed more alcohol, according to the report. That’s when the second accident took place, the report said.

Bash is being held in the Leelanau County Jail on a $25,000, 10 percent bond. His probable cause conference has been set for Dec. 12 and his preliminary examination for Dec. 19.

His 32-year-old friend was arrested for allowing an intoxicated person to operate his motor vehicle and driving on a suspended driver’s license. The 32-year-old has not yet been arraigned.

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Two people were injured in a traffic collision at about 12:20 a.m. Saturday in Elmwood Township, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.

The accident took place at the intersection of East Lakeview Hills and South Center Highway. When deputies and emergency personnel arrived they found a 2010 Buick with extensive front end damage and a 2013 Chevrolet pickup on its side, according to the report.

An investigation showed that the Buick, driven by a 70-year-old Suttons Bay woman, was heading south on South Center Highway when the Chevrolet, driven by a 79-year-old Cedar man, pulled out in front of her at East Lakeview Hills, the report said.

The 79-year-old had been stopped at the intersection, but allegedly pulled out directly into the Buick’s path, the report said. His pick-up was struck broadside and spun out of control, flipping onto its side.

The 70-year-old had minor injuries, but refused transportation to the hospital, the report said.

The older man was taken to Munson Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries, the report said. He was also cited for failure to yield to on coming traffic.

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A 35-year-old Suttons Bay man was arrested for driving while intoxicated on Tuesday, Nov. 30, after crashing into some trees off South Lake Leelanau Drive in Bingham Township.

Deputies found the silver Chevrolet SUV after a caller to the 9-1-1 dispatch center at 4:20 p.m. reported that the vehicle was weaving all over the road while headed north on South Lake Leelanau near Donner Road, according to the report. The vehicle was found among some trees near Stanley Road.

An investigation showed that the driver was under the influence of a prescription medicine, the report said. After being checked over by Suttons Bay Bingham Fire and Rescue personnel, the driver was arrested for suspicion of operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs, the report said.

He was lodged in jail.

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