A fiery car collision from May 9th, 2017 in Oceola Township, Michigan, which took the lives of 5 people, has concluded with murder charges. The Detroit Free Press reported that Matthew Jordan Carrier, age 22 from Fenton, Michigan, was bound over for trial on Thursday, September 21, 2017. This means the judge believes there is probable cause, and the case will go to trial. Carrier was charged with 5 counts of second degree murder.
Carrier was driving a 2002 Subaru Impreza that belonged to his friend who was also passenger in the car, Justin Andrew-Humberto Henderson, of Fenton, 18. Also traveling in the car were 24-year old Preston Tyler Wetzel, and 23-year old Kyle Eugene Lixie, also both of Fenton.
Carrier says he can recall consuming “most” of a fifth of Smirnoff vodka, but that he was “less drunk” than Henderson, which is why he was driving the car. Officials said Carrier’s blood alcohol content was .15, nearly twice the legal limit in the State of Michigan of .08.
Carrier was driving southbound on Argentine Road, reaching speeds of up to 103 MPH. He ran the stop sign at the intersection of Argentine Road and M-59, colliding with a Cadillac headed east on M-59. Albert Boswell, 39 was driving the Cadillac, and was traveling with his girlfriend, Candice Lynn Dunn, 35, of Oakland County, her mother, Linda K. Hurley, 69, and her mother’s boyfriend, Jerome Joseph Tortomasi, 73, both of Macomb County. Boswell was the only passenger in the Cadillac to survive the crash. In the Subaru, Henderson and Wetzel were both killed, while Lixie was taken to the University of Michigan Hospital for the injuries he sustained, and was eventually released.
In addition to 5 charges of second degree murder, Carrier also faces 14 other charges, including operating a vehicle while intoxicated and driving on a suspended license causing death. Nine witnesses took the stand at the hearing, resulting in these charges. The judge presiding over the hearing said that Carrier’s blood alcohol level, a prior OWI conviction, and other alcohol violations show Carrier had malicious intent, since he had not learned from his previous charges. This malicious intent resulted in second degree murder charges. Carrier is currently being held in the Livingston County Jail. He says he wishes he had died instead of his victims.
Carrier claims he thought he could drink without it being a problem, but when it comes to operating a motor vehicle, this line of thinking is dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10,265 people died as a result of drunk driving in 2015 alone. No matter how well you think you can handle your alcohol, or if you’re “less drunk” than your friends, driving while intoxicated is not only illegal, but can also be deadly in the event of a drunk driving car crash. Having a designated driver, using a ride-sharing service like Uber, or having some other back up plan that doesn’t involve a drunk person getting behind the wheel is the best way to prevent being involved in a drunk driving car accident. Think of it this way: If ordering an Uber after a tailgate this weekend seems too inconvenient, does calling your attorney to tell them you were involved in a drunk driving car accident really sound much better?
Drunk driving is never OK, under any circumstances. And while you can make sure that you never drive drunk, you cannot guarantee that others on the road won't drive while intoxicated. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a drunk driving accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation with an experienced car accident attorney.