Jon M. Brown, a 29-year-old Saginaw man, was recently arraigned on two felony charges for the drunk driving accident he was alleged to have caused in Bay County in May. Court records show that Brown has been charged with a single count of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death (OWI causing death), which is a fifteen year felony. Additionally, he is facing a single count of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing serious injury, a five year felony under Michigan law.
According to police records, the crash occurred on I-75 last May 17th at about 3:30 in the morning. The Bay County Central Dispatch began receiving calls about a car that was swerving and traveling in the wrong direction. The vehicle was described by witnesses as a 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
Minutes later, there was a head-on collision between Brown’s Impala and a taxi – a 1997 Chevrolet Astro van containing the driver and one passenger. The driver, 54-year-old Barry E. Campbell, had been driving 33-year-old Benjamin E. Martinson home from the World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth.
Campbell and Martinson were severely injured in the accident, and were trapped in their crushed vehicle. When emergency responders arrived, both men were calling for help from the damaged confines of the vehicle. Campbell died at the scene.
Both Brown and Martinson were transported to the hospital by ambulance. A blood draw was conducted at the hospital, showing that Brown’s blood alcohol level was 0.105 shortly after the accident. Brown suffered a broken hip, leg and foot, along with multiple arm injuries in the accident. Martinson suffered from a collapsed lung, liver and spleen lacerations, a ruptured bladder, pelvic fractures and two broken legs.
Bay County Probate Judge John C. Keuvelaar honored the prosecution’s request to set bail high, and granted Brown a $250,000 bond. His preliminary examination on the OWI causing death and the other charge is scheduled for Tuesday, July 21st, at 2 pm.
It is sad that Brown, who has no prior criminal record, will quite likely spend at least some time behind bars for this single poor choice. In cases such as this, it is important to have a good defense attorney working with and for you to help mitigate the damages. There is nothing that can be done for Barry Campbell, but it may be that something life-changing can come out of this for Mr. Brown. We certainly hope so; both for him and the families touched by this tragic accident.