Driver charged in Muskegon Co. hit-run that injured teen

Muskegon County
mathew potter

Mathew Potter’s Jan. 15, 2020, mug shot from the Muskegon County Jail.

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — The driver accused of hitting and injuring a teen and then taking off was formally charged Thursday with two felonies.

In a Muskegon courtroom, Mathew Potter was arraigned on a count of failure to stop at the scene of a serious injury accident and a count of operating while intoxicated causing seriously injury, court records show.

The crash happened Tuesday morning on Russell Road near E. Tyler Road in Dalton Township, north of Muskegon. Authorities say the driver ignored a school bus’s flashing lights and passed it, hitting 14-year-old Tajen Pannell. The driver didn’t stop.

Tajen, a Reeths-Puffer eighth grader, was taken to a Grand Rapids hospital, where he remained in critical condition Thursday.

Authorities arrested Potter, 22, of Twin Lake, the next morning.

Potter’s criminal history includes a 2017 hit-and-run case out of Muskegon County, then driving while his license was suspended after he was caught with drugs. His license was valid at the time of Tuesday’s crash.

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