HomeTop Headlines2 Dead, 14 Injured When Drunk Pregnant Woman Plows into Crowd

2 Dead, 14 Injured When Drunk Pregnant Woman Plows into Crowd

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Ashley Marie Monroe, a 35-year-old resident of Perrinton, Michigan, faced arraignment on Monday, May 20, 2024 for multiple felony charges. These charges stem from a fatal accident in Watertown Township that resulted in two fatalities and 14 injured.

The incident took place on the evening of May 18, when Monroe, who was allegedly drunk, hit a group of pedestrians on South Wacousta Road near Corrison Road. She is then said to have left the scene.

Police apprehended Monroe, who is both pregnant and a mother to four children, about three minutes after the incident. She now faces 11 felony charges, which include two counts of operating while intoxicated (OWI) leading to death, six counts of OWI causing serious injury, and several counts of leaving the scene when at fault.

During her court appearance, Monroe pleaded not guilty and declined a formal reading of the charges. Judge Michael Clarizio of the Clinton County District Court set her bail at $1 million, twice the amount proposed by the prosecution.

The deceased victims of the crash were identified as Johnathan Esch, 30, from Grand Haven, and Daniel Harris, 42, from Grand Ledge. A 38-year-old woman is currently in critical condition, while 13 others, ranging in age from two to 61, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The group, primarily consisting of family members, was reportedly walking alongside the road when Monroe’s vehicle hit them.

The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office detailed that Monroe’s vehicle showed damage consistent with the accident. Officers also discovered blood and human tissue on her car. In her possession, they found a mostly empty bottle of Crown Royal and two prescription bottles for anti-depressants. Monroe’s blood alcohol level was recorded at 0.183, which is over twice the legal limit of 0.08.

Monroe’s attorney emphasized her lack of a criminal record and her lifelong residency in Michigan during the court hearing. He also mentioned her role as a mother to four children, aged 13, 11, seven, and one. Despite these points, the judge highlighted the seriousness of the charges and the need to protect the public by setting a high bail.

The tragic incident has deeply impacted the local community. Debra Plichta, a local resident, expressed the community’s shared grief, saying, “When something like this happens in our community, we all grieve.” The accident has sparked discussions about the necessity for better pedestrian safety measures in the area.

Multiple local law enforcement and emergency services are assisting the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office in investigating the incident. “With heavy hearts, we pray for all individuals and families affected by this incident. We are here for all of you,” stated the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office.

The court has scheduled Monroe for a preliminary examination on June 6. The investigation is ongoing as authorities continue to gather more details about the events leading up to the accident.

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