Deputies: Drunk driver caused crashes, was 4x over limit

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Van Buren County drunk driver hits 2 cars 060216_219029

PAW PAW TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A Watervliet man faces multiple charges after allegedly driving drunk and causing two car crashes between Paw Paw and Lawrence.

The first crash happened around 4:20 p.m. Thursday near the intersection of Red Arrow Highway and Territorial Road in Paw Paw Township, according to the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office. When sheriff’s deputies and Michigan State Police troopers arrived on scene, they were told that a Pontiac Grand Prix had been struck by an SUV that then took off.

A few minutes later, a deputy witnessed another traffic crash less than three miles away near the intersection of Red Arrow Highway and 50th Street in Lawrence Township. The at-fault SUV matched the description of the vehicle from the first crash. As more first responders arrived on scene, it became apparent to them that the SUV, a Chevrolet Tracker, had also been responsible for the first crash.

The driver of the Grand Prix sustained a possible compound fracture to his leg. Further details about his condition were not available Thursday night and his name was not released. The Grand Prix sustained serious rear-end damage.

The driver of the car involved in the second crash, an 83-year-old from Lawrence, was not hurt. Her car sustained rear-end damage and will need “extensive repair,” the sheriff’s office said.

The driver of the Tracker, a 52-year-old from Watervliet, was arrested. Authorities say they think his blood alcohol content level was nearly four times legal limit. They also think was drinking in addition to taking prescription medication.

He is expected to face charges of operating while intoxicated with a high blood alcohol content level (the so-called “super drunk” law) and failure to report a property damage crash. MSP is also seeking a charge of failure to stop at a personal injury crash.

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