DUI Crash Happened the Day After Christmas
Paul M. LaRue, a 61-year-old resident of Bay City, may unfortunately have to change his place of residence in the not-too-distant future, having recently been charged with two felonies. While most OWI cases present a defense attorney with a number of options, that gets a little harder when the defendant admits the crime to the police right at the scene.
The crash that LaRue admitted to causing, took place on December 26th, the day after Christmas. LaRue is said to have been driving a gray Ford Fiesta on M-13 after having had several vodka drinks at Chaser’s Bar and Grill, when he abruptly turned into oncoming traffic.
The vehicle he turned in front of was a blue Dodge Caravan, driven by 45-year-old Holly VanBuren. In the car with her was her husband and three children who were all under the age of ten. The Caravan collided with LaRue’s Fiesta, and ended up in the ditch on the side of the road.
According to VanBuren’s later testimony, she was traveling at the posted speed limit and all the people in her car were wearing seat belts. But LaRue’s car turned in front of her vehicle so fast that she had no time to react.
By the time the Bay County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived on the scene, the Emergency Medical Responders were already treating the people injured in the crash. VanBuren received treatment for a sprained ankle, a laceration on her left knee, and a dislocation of her right knee. One of her 6-year-old daughters may have suffered a fractured arm, while the 9-year-old daughter’s back was fractured. They were all taken to a local hospital for treatment.
LaRue, who also sustained injuries in the DUI crash, talked to police while he was in the ambulance. He admitted that he was drunk at the time of the crash, but said that he had no recollection of what happened. He said to police that he had had three or four vodka drinks at the bar before heading home, but had no memory of the crash. His BAC, taken at the scene, revealed a blood alcohol count of .223, which is substantially above Michigan’s legal limit of .08.
LaRue was charged with three counts of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing serious injury, which under Michigan law is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. At his arraignment in the Bay County District Court, the Judge set his bond at $25,000. LaRue has since posted bail and is currently free. His preliminary examination is scheduled for Wednesday, January 27th, at 9 am.