Accused drunk driver charged in fatal crash

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) - A man accused of killing a mother of five while driving drunk was arraigned on criminal charges Monday.

Jay Hobbs, 48, was formally charged in the death Saturday night of 36-year-old Tonya Beha of Lake Odessa. State police say Beha was pushing her van to the side of Alden Nash over I-96 after it ran out of gas when Hobbs hit her and rear-ended the van.

Policed say Hobbs, of Lowell, ran away from the scene, but they found him in the woods. Seven people where in the van at the time of the crash; some were injured, including two of her five children.

Hobbs was arraigned on two felonies: drunk driving causing death, and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

Hobbs was convicted of drunk driving three years ago, something Judge Sara Smolenski noted in response to his request that his $30,000 bond be reduced.

"The prior offense is a huge concern about if people are gonna be safe," Smolenski said.

When asked Monday if there was anything the public could do to help his family, Beha's father-in-law said "don't drive drunk."

Hobbs will be back in court on Feb. 26.


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