A suspected drunk driver accused of causing a fatal car crash in Macomb County, Michigan, on Saturday was out on bond for a previous operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) charge, according to prosecutors.
Demetrius Benson was driving westbound on 8 Mile Road when he ran a red light and hit another vehicle that was crossing southbound on Grosbeck, the county prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
After the crash, Benson fled from his vehicle and allegedly attempted to carjack another vehicle but was dragged and run over. The suspect broke both legs and sustained multiple injuries during the altercation with the second driver, but he is expected to survive.
The driver hit in the initial crash was rushed to the hospital but later died due to his injuries.
At the time of the crash, Benson was out on bond for a previous OWI charge that allegedly occurred in Wayne County in June 2021.
Furthermore, Benson’s past criminal history includes arrests and convictions for “fleeing police in 2055, domestic violence in 2011, and delivery/manufacturing of a controlled substance,” the Macomb Daily reported.
Benson is now facing several charges, including operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and causing death, driving with a suspended license and causing death, attempted carjacking, possession of a controlled substance, and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
If convicted on all charges, the accused suspect faces up to 44 years in prison.
“This is a tragic loss of life that could have been prevented,” Macomb County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido said in a press release.
A judge in the 37th District Court set Benson’s bond at $500,000. If he posts the bond and is released, he will be ordered to wear a steel GPS tether and consume no alcohol or drugs.
In 2020, 11,654 people were killed in a motor vehicle accident in which an alcohol-impaired driver was involved, according to the CDC. This accounts for 30 percent of all traffic-related fatalities nationwide.
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