Ada woman charged in fatal crash accepts plea

ADA, Mich. (WZZM) - An Ada woman who struck and killed an elderly man trying to cross Thornapple River Drive SE last July has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.

Samyukatha Chermala, 45, entered a guilty plea in 63rd District Court to careless driving. A more serious charge of moving violation causing death was dismissed. That charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail.

Chermala was ordered to pay $295 in fines and court costs.

The accident occurred July 22 in Cascade Township. Robert Pankhurst, 90, was struck while trying to cross Thornapple at Cascade Road SE.

Pankhurst, 90, was a decorated U.S. Army veteran who served in World War II. He died at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital.


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