Ottawa Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death

Suspected Drunk Driver Hits Parked Car

59-year-old Bernard Langmeyer, and his wife Deborah, pulled over on the side of I-96, and parked well off the shoulder to keep out of the flow of oncoming vehicles.Their Ford C-Max had a flat tire. Bernard contacted Onstar to report their situation, and then settled in to wait for assistance. Unfortunately, Richard Lee Rish’s Chevy Tahoe got there first.

According to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department, Rish made a legal right hand pass and then, while switching back into the left lane, struck the Langmeyer’s vehicle. As if this wasn’t bad ¬†enough, a third vehicle traveling behind Rish was unable to stop in time, and also crashed into Langmeyer and Rish’s vehicles.

Mark and Jean Vandyke, the Wisconsin couple who was in the third vehicle, were transported to the hospital after the accident, as was Deborah Langmeyer, for treatment of their injuries. Bernard Langmeyer, however, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Rish was arrested and taken to the Ottawa County Jail where he is being held on a $50,000 bond. He was arraigned on May 26th in the Hudsonville District Court on a single felony count of operating while intoxicated causing death.

Under Michigan law, a charge of operating while intoxicated causing death is a very serious felony. Assuming it is his first offense, Rish could receive up to 15 years in prison, and a possible fine of anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000 if convicted.

Interestingly enough, Rish is not facing any charges for operating while intoxicated causing injury. It is unusual to see the prosecutor choose not to pursue charges for others harmed in a crash. It may be that there will be additional charges in the future.

If you, or someone you love, is facing similar charges, it is important to get a good OWI Defense Attorney on your side.  Your rights deserve to be protected too. 866-766-5245


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Posted in Michigan Drunk Driving, OWI causing death
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