Coast Guardsman charged in fatal Bloomfield Twp. crash

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A Coast Guard employee was arraigned Friday in connection with an alleged drunken driving crash earlier this week that left an Oakland Township woman dead.

Gregory Allen Belkin was arraigned at 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills by Judge Diane D’Agostini on charges of operating under the influence of alcohol, causing death and second-degree murder. He was off duty at the time of the crash, officials said.

Investigators said the 43-year-old Bloomfield Hills man rear-ended a 2009 Subaru Legacy with his 2014 Maserati while heading east on Square Lake Road in Bloomfield Township around 9 p.m. Tuesday. The impact pushed the other car off the roadway and into a barrier fence, police reported.

The Subaru driver, identified as Rhonda Williams, 53, of Oakland Township, was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Belkin was hospitalized after the incident in which both speed and alcohol played roles, authorities said. Crash reconstruction officers estimate he continued traveling at more than 95 mph after impact.

A Coast Guard employee since 2002, Belkin is assigned to Sector Detroit, where he manages the storage and transfer of aids-to-navigation equipment, officials said Friday.

“This is an absolutely tragic incident, and our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family members of the victim,” said Capt. Scott Lemasters, commander of Sector Detroit. “The Coast Guard is an organization committed to helping others and saving lives, and driving under the influence goes against our core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty.”

At the time of Belkin’s arrest, the Coast Guard was investigating him for another alcohol-related incident from December but further action had not yet been taken, Chief Petty Officer Lauren Jorgensen said. Details were not available Friday night.

In light of the fatal crash, Belkin is not being paid while held without bond, Jorgensen said.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 9.