Man charged with murder in Oceola Twp. crash

Associated Press

Howell

Prosecutors have charged a man with second-degree murder in a May car crash that killed five people in Oceola Township, saying he was intoxicated and missed a stop sign.

Livingston County Prosecutor William Vailliencourt said during Matthew Carrier’s arraignment that the Fenton man’s blood-alcohol level was “well in excess” of the limit for driving, but he didn’t say the exact level. Carrier, 21, was arraigned on 19 felony counts stemming from the May 9 crash and was denied bond.

Carrier didn’t have an attorney at the arraignment. His next hearing is July 26.

Police have described the accident as a “T-bone” crash in a rural area of Livingston County, about 35 miles northwest of Detroit.

Vailliencourt said Carrier was driving close to 100 mph when he ignored a stop sign and smashed into Albert Boswell’s vehicle.

Two people in Carrier’s vehicle died, Justin Andrew Humberto Henderson, 20, and Preston Wetzel, 24, both of Fenton.

Three in the vehicle driven by Boswell, 39, died, including probation agent Candice Dunn of Sterling Heights, who had been honored at a Corrections Department banquet that night. The others were Dunn’s mother, Linda Hurley, 69, of Macomb Township and Hurley’s boyfriend, Jerome Tortomasi, 73, of Chesterfield Township.

A burned tree and brush are seen near the intersection of M-59 and Argentine in Oceola Township where five people died in a fiery two-vehicle crash Tuesday night, May 9, 2017.

Both drivers and Carrier’s other passenger, Kyle Lixie, 23, were hospitalized with injuries. The secretary of state’s office earlier said neither driver had a valid license.

Carrier is charged with five counts of second-degree murder, operating while intoxicated causing death, and driving with a suspended license causing death. He faces life in prison if convicted of the murder charge.

“Under Michigan law, second-degree murder applies to circumstances where someone commits an act with a high probability that it will result in death, and does so in obvious disregard for human life,” Vailliencourt said in a statement.

Vailliencourt said Carrier was convicted of being a minor in possession of alcohol in 2013 and 2016, and operating while under the influence in 2014.