OU student who drove off overpass was drunk

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

Madison Heights — A 21-year-old college student who died the day after Christmas when his truck plunged 20 feet off a freeway overpass had a blood alcohol content well over the legal limit.

According to the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office, Holly resident Cody Petzold had a BAC of .22, nearly three times the legal limit of .08.

The medical examiner’s office determined that Petzold, an honor student at Oakland University, died upon impact from cranial-cerebral head trauma.

The death has been classified as an accident.

The incident occurred at about 2:45 a.m. Dec. 26 when Petzold drove around barricades blocking the westbound 12 Mile ramp to southbound Interstate 75 in Madison Heights.

The Michigan Department of Transportation has blocked the ramp because of damage to the overpass after it was struck by a truck in October, breaking off a portion of the bridge.

Petzold’s 2005 GMC Sierra pickup plunged through an opening in the overpass and dropped 20 feet, landing upside down on 12 Mile.

A passenger in the truck was injured in the crash and was taken to Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital with serious injuries.

Petzold, a senior at OU, was studying human resources, served as a resident assistant, was a member of the honors college and vice president of the university’s Gay Straight Alliance.

“Cody was a highly regarded scholar and student leader at Oakland University and the news of his death has saddened our campus community,” said Glenn McIntosh, interim vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

Petzold is the second OU student to die in the last two months. Chandler Swink, a 19-year-old sophomore and aspiring nursing student, died Nov. 26 after a severe allergic reaction to peanut butter.


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