Woman Faces Murder Charges in Deadly Crash
Posted: Monday, April 20th, 2009 at 3:47 pm
ROSEVILLE, MI—A 47 year-old Michigan woman has been charged with four counts of second-degree murder in the Monday deaths of four teens killed in a crash in the Detroit suburb of Roseville.
Frances Patricia Dingle was arraigned in her hospital bed Monday afternoon, said Roseville Deputy Chief James Berlin.
Dingle will also face four charges of operating while intoxicated, causing death. A jury would have to pick one of the two charges, however, since it could not convict her for both.
Prosecutor Eric Smith said that Dingle’s alcohol content registered at .23 percent, more than the double legal limit,which is .08 percent.
The 19-year-old driver of the teens’ car, Devon Spurlock, died at 5a.m Tuesday morning. The other teens died when Dingle’s full-sized Ford van ran into their car as they waited at an intersection for a red light to change. The teens were Jordan Michalak, 16, Erica Haudek, 15, and Stephanie Currie, 16.
Stephanie’s grandfather, 79-year-old Manuel Noriega of Mt. Clemens, stood at the accident scene while more than 200 students waved posters that read “Teens Against Drinking & Driving” and similar messages. Students wanted to make a stand against the tragedy, said a Roseville High grad.
Richard Rondeau, director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s Southeast Michigan division, said he received at least half a dozen phone calls from teens requesting support for the rally. Friends and classmates of the slain teens paid their respects and consoled one another at the crash site. Grief counselors would be available at the teens’ schools to provide support for teachers and students.
The families of the victims planned to hold a candlelight vigil in the parking lot of a local mall on Monday evening.
Details about Dingle’s whereabouts before the accident have not been released, but officials said she had been drinking at someone’s house and was asked not to drive home. Dingle was hospitalized for observation after sustaining non-life-threatening injuries.
The latest statistics available for Southeast Michigan show that there were 97 alcohol-related deaths in the area in 2007, down from 112 in 2006.