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Driver waives hearing; family threatens suit in death

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Romulus — Attorneys for the family of the 12-year-old girl killed after a crash allegedly caused by a drunken driver with a long list of previous DUI offenses said Wednesday they plan to file a lawsuit against the driver and the owner of the vehicle he was in.

Darlena Savage, left, mother of Victoria Mack, who was killed in a drunken driving accident, listens during Charles Cahill Jr.’s preliminary examination Wednesday at 34th District Court in Romulus.

Victoria Mack, a student at Ann Arbor Trail, died of her injuries after the crash in Sumpter Township on July 27.

Attorneys Renette Jackson and Danien Woods said they plan to file lawsuits against Charles Cahill Jr., 49, and the owner of the GMC Yukon.

“This is not just about the drunk driver, but this is also about the person who loaned him their vehicle,” Jackson said Wednesday at the 34th District Court in Romulus. “There should have been charges against the (owner of the vehicle).”

Cahill appeared briefly in 34th District Court in Romulus on Wednesday to waive his right to a preliminary examination. Judge Brian Oakley bound him over for trial.

His next scheduled appearance is Wednesday for an arraignment on information in Wayne County Circuit Court.

Mack’s parents, Darlena Savage and Garry Mack, along with other family members and friends, showed up to face Cahill in court but the hearing was adjourned since Cahill waived his rights.

Cahill has previously been charged a dozen times with driving while intoxicated.

According to the Michigan Department of State, Cahill’s driving citations date from 1986 and continued to May. They include multiple instances of driving with a suspended license, disobeying traffic signals and seven accidents. According to his driving record, two accidents were listed on June 27, 1996 — one in Westland with no injuries, another in Livonia with one person injured.

State officials said Cahill’s driver’s license was revoked in 1990.

Jackson and Woods criticized the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for giving Cahill plea deals.

Woods said Cahill should have had more felony convictions for drunken driving but that he was able to negotiate deals. She said the prosecutor told the family Wednesday Cahill will not be offered any plea deals.

“It’s good to hear. We wanted to make sure that Mr. Cahill is not able to slip through any legal cracks or technicalities as a result of this criminal behavior,” Woods said Wednesday. “He shouldn’t have had just one felony.”

Darlena Savage, left, mother of Victoria Mack, who was killed in a drunken driving accident, listens during Charles Cahill Jr.’s preliminary examination Wednesday at 34th District Court in Romulus.

Cahill of Sumpter Township is charged with second-degree murder, operating with high blood alcohol causing death and operating with a suspended license causing death. He also was charged earlier with open intoxicants in a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor.

His $1 million bond was continued by Oakley.

Police say Cahill was speeding and driving on a suspended license when his vehicle rear-ended the van at a stop sign at Martinsville and Willis in Sumpter Township.

Victoria had to be extricated from the vehicle and was airlifted to a hospital in Ann Arbor where she was taken off life support and died. Her family donated her organs. Four other family members were in the vehicle, two of whom were injured.

More than $13,600 was raised on a GoFundme page set up for Victoria.

bwilliams@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2027