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Driver pleads guilty to OWI in crash that sent car airborne over US-131

The driver gave a guilty plea to the misdemeanor charge of operating while intoxicated during a preliminary hearing on Thursday.

DORR, Mich. — The driver that sent his car airborne over a US-131 exit near Dorr pleaded guilty to operating while intoxicated during a preliminary hearing on Thursday.

The hearing came months after the original incident in January, which was caught on camera by a traffic cam near the 142nd Avenue exit on US-131. 

The video shows the driver launching his vehicle over a dirt embankment, landing on the other side and striking a road sign.

Chandler Cockerham, a 26-year-old man from Kalamazoo, suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to an area hospital for treatment and a blood draw.

Cockerham was originally charged with operating with any presence of drugs on Jan. 13 but the charge was later reduced to operating while intoxicated.

After initial delays due to backlogs at a police lab, Cockerham's blood was found to contain traces of cocaine.

Cockerham appeared in the 57th District Court in Allegan on Thursday morning and issued a guilty plea to the charge.

A misdemeanor OWI for first offenders is punishable by one or more of the following: 

  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Up to 93 days in prison
  • A fine between $100 and $500

Cockerham posted a $500 bond in early August and is due back in court for sentencing on Nov. 11, 2022.

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