The incident took place late on a Wednesday night, shortly before midnight. Several people noticed a vehicle careen into a ditch along the side of the road, and then catch fire. They called 911 to report it, hoping that no one was trapped inside.
Deputies were dispatched to West 6 Road and N. M-37 for a vehicle fire, but when they arrived, they discovered that the car was empty. But, from the evidence at the scene, police were able to determine that the driver had sat in the vehicle for some time after the crash, revving the engine and spinning the wheels in an effort to dislodge the car, but ended instead in catching it on fire. The car, however, didn’t move. And so the man finally got out and walked away.
Police were finally able to track the driver down and arrest him. Which is why 32-year-old Daniel James Milutin of Mesick is now facing three misdemeanor charges, for which he was charged in Wexford County’s 94th District Court. These include operating a motor vehicle with a high blood alcohol content, operating while intoxicated, and failure to report an accident/leaving the scene of an accident.
All told, assuming that Milutin doesn’t accept a plea bargain, he is looking at the possibility of up to 180 days in jail, and fines up to $700. He was released on a conditional personal reconnaissance bond. However, as part of his bail agreement, he must submit to daily breathalyzer checks, and may not consume any alcohol.
Milutin’s pretrial hearing has been scheduled to take place on February 10th at 2pm in the Wexford County Court. Thus far no information is available on whether or not Milutin has any kind of criminal history that may affect his sentencing. There is also no word on whether or not the car was salvageable, or completely destroyed in the fire.