Grand Haven: Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death

Ciara Siobhan Byers, a 23-year-old woman from Grand Haven, has chosen to waive her right to a preliminary hearing in the Allegan County Court for the OWI causing death charges she is facing.

Byers is facing two counts of operating while intoxicated causing death, for the car crash she caused in June which left a Holland couple dead. 69-year-old Robert Kammeraad, and his wife 66-year-old Susan Mae Kammeraad were riding their Harley Davidson motorcycle together on the night they were struck and killed.

According to the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department, on June 1st, Byers was traveling south on M-40 when she noticed that cars were stopped in front of her in the turning lane. Because she didn’t have enough time to brake safely, she swerved into the oncoming lane, hoping to avoid hitting the car that was signaling to turn left in front of her.

However, Byers never saw the Kammeraads on that night when she pulled directly into their path. The older couple were killed in the resulting head-on collision, and Byers and the two passengers who were in the car with her were injured in the crash.

According to later testimony provided by 22-year-old Andrea Molenkamp, a friend of Byers who had been riding in the car with her, the three friends were on their way to a high school reunion.

Molenkamp was the one who sustained the most injuries of those traveling in the car. She was struck by one of the motorcyclist’s helmets, which apparently smashed through the windshield of Byer’s car before hitting her.

Byers was arraigned on two counts of operating while intoxicated causing death, and one count of operating while intoxicated / impaired causing serious injury.

Under Michigan law, operating while intoxicated causing death is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and possible fines of up to $10,000. Operating under the influence or impaired causing serious injury is also a felony and is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.

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Posted in Michigan Drunk Driving, OWI causing death
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