Wayne County to review pending cases after high court ruling on one-judge grand jury

Driver sent to prison in crash that killed doctor

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

An 18-year-old Detroit man will serve up to 15 years behind bars for causing a horrific accident that killed a Henry Ford Hospital physician and seriously injured a promising high school athlete, both Good Samaritans who stopped to help others in the crash on Interstate 96 in Detroit.

Dr. Cynthia Ray, a 47-year-old pulmonologist, died and Sean English, a University of Detroit student and track star, lost a foot in the crash April 2, 2017.

Judge Lawrence Talon told Keith Martin during his sentencing Monday in Wayne County Circuit Court: “You put yourself and others in danger (and) I have an obligation to protect the public.”

Police said the crash happened just before 8 a.m. April 2, 2017, on I-96 near the Davison Freeway. An SUV carrying six teens had flipped over a couple of times after the driver lost control.

Ray and English were trying to assist the teens in the SUV when Martin’s vehicle went into a spin and struck them. Some of the teens suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Martin pleaded no contest last month to operating under the influence causing death and operating under the influence causing serious injury, both felonies.

He was given 71 months to 15 years for causing Ray’s death and 36 months to five years for causing English’s injuries, with the sentences to be served concurrently.

Before sentencing Martin, the judge said it’s still unclear what caused Martin to not be able to avoid the crash.

During the sentencing Monday, Sean English’s sister Meaghan told the judge that because of Martin her brother will face a long road to recovery and physical hardships.

“Sean will carry the struggles of being an amputee the rest of his life,” said Meaghan English.

Martin apologized to Sean English and his family, saying he could “do nothing” to avoid the accident, adding: “I have dreams about it every night.”

Sean English told Martin he was rooting for him, adding, “I’m in your corner, man.”

Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Athina Siringas told the judge Martin was driving with marijuana in his system and half-burnt “blunts” in his car.

Martin’s attorney Marc Hart said the fact that was marijuana in his client’s system didn’t prove Martin was under the influence.

Hart said Siringas’ assertions were “not predicated on (any)thing ... not science ... not fact.” The defense attorney asked Talon not to give his client a harsh sentence, saying his client should not “be exposed to all the rot that goes on in his prison.”

Martin was stopped by police last week and his bond was revoked after police smelled intoxicants coming from a truck he was driving.


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