Grand Haven teen enters plea in I-96 crash

9:36 PM, Oct 15, 2012   |    comments
  • Danielle Michaels
  • Madison Case
  • Emily Bogner
  • Brittney Olds
  • Hannah DeVecht
  • I-96 near Alden Nash Ave. in Lowell (March 16, 2012)
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GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (Grand Haven Tribune/WZZM) -- A Grand Haven High School student has pleaded no contest to a charge related to a crash that seriously injured four of her friends - all 11th-graders at the time - on their way to a basketball game in March.

Danielle Michaels, 17, was charged July 31 with committing a moving violation causing a serious impairment of body function.

Previous Coverage - Police: Phone distraction a factor in girls' crash 

Michaels quietly answered questions from attorney referee Barbara Forman Monday afternoon before formally making the plea in Ottawa County Juvenile Court.

The charge is a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 93 days in jail if the defendant is charged as an adult. Michaels will not face jail time because she was charged as a juvenile.

Click here for more coverage from our partner, the Grand Haven Tribune.

On March 16, Michaels was driving her SUV east on I-96 near Lowell on her way to the Grand Haven High School girls' basketball playoff game in East Lansing.  She told Michigan State Police she looked down at her cell phone, then looked up to see another vehicle.  Michaels lost control and her SUV rolled over, coming to a rest on the westbound side of the freeway.

Troopers who reconstructed the accident determined Michaels' SUV was going more than 90 miles per hour just before the crash and was being driven "carelessly."

Michaels' passengers -- Emily Bogner, 16, Madison Case, 17, and Hannah DeVecht, 17, and Brittney Olds, 16 -- were injured in the crash.

Olds suffered the worst injuries.  She was released from Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in June.

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