Drunken driving crash: Woman jailed after judge dissolves sentencing agreement
A Belleville woman is in the Washtenaw County Jail after a judge dissolved a sentencing agreement upon learning details of the serious-injury crash she caused while driving drunk last summer.
Susan Upchurch, 36, was to receive two years probation for one count of operating while intoxicated, causing injury, under a sentence agreement established when she entered her guilty plea in early March, records show. But Washtenaw Circuit Judge Archie Brown on Wednesday ordered Upchurch to serve seven months in jail for causing the July 30 crash in Ypsilanti Township. Officials said Brown noted Upchurch’s blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash was 0.21 percent, and that her children, ages 3 and 15 were in the vehicle. A blood-alcohol level of .08 is the legal limit in Michigan.
Reports show Upchurch was northbound on Dorsett Street shortly after 2 a.m. when she ran the flashing red light at the Michigan Avenue bypass, and her car struck another vehicle, Washtenaw County Sheriff’s spokesman Derrick Jackson said. The other driver, a 39-year-old Dundee man, suffered severe internal injuries and a passenger suffered multiple broken bones, court records showed.
Upchurch was taken to the hospital, but was not seriously injured and was arrested shortly after her release. Her children were not injured. A 53-year-old man was also in the vehicle and suffered minor injuries.
They had just come from a wedding celebration with friends and family, said Robert Katz, her attorney.
Katz said Upchurch took responsibility for her actions and remains in counseling for substance abuse issues.
“She couldn’t have taken this matter any more seriously than she did, but, obviously, that doesn’t change the poor decision she made,” he said.