A 22-year-old man is facing serious charges after a crash involving a horse and buggy, according to local police. Officers in Steuben County, Michigan, were on the scene of the accident that sent two people to the hospital. The driver is charged with OWI/DUI causing serious bodily injury, but no court date has yet been set.
According to the accident report, police were called to respond to the crash on Ray Road around 9:26 p.m. the night of Aug. 16. A witness on the scene told officers that the 22-year-old man, who was traveling northbound at the time, struck a horse and buggy carrying four people, which was also traveling north. The force of the impact caused all four people to be thrown from the buggy.
A 13-year-old boy and a 22-year-old man were both taken to a local hospital with multiple injuries. The other two occupants of the buggy -- an 18-year-old man and a 23-year-old man -- were treated on the scene by medical personnel and were subsequently released. The report does not mention how police came to believe the driver was intoxicated at the time, but he was arrested at the site of the accident. It is unknown if he is still in police custody at this time.
An OWI/DUI charge can have significant impact on the accused person, including a possible loss of driving privileges and even jail time. However, the burden of proof rests upon Michigan lawmakers to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the man was indeed intoxicated at the time of the crash. If police on the scene failed to conduct proper sobriety testing and/or if no blood test corroborating the charge was taken, this could influence the outcome of the trial, possibly even leading to the charges being dropped altogether.
Source: journalgazette.com, "Buggy crash sends 2 to hospital", Aug. 17, 2017