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Man Charged In Death Of Motorcyclist

EASTPOINTE (WWJ) – Police say a 27-year-old Eastpointe man is facing charges relating to the death of a motorcyclist earlier this week.

Eastpoint Police Lt. Dave Ernatt said Joshua Braasch was charged with operating while intoxicated causing death, a 15 year felony, on Wednesday in 38th District Court.

Police say Braasch was driving westbound on 10 Mile Road around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday when he attempted a left turn to go south on Dodge Street. Instead, police say Braasch’s pickup truck struck an eastbound traveling motorcycle, driven by 43-year-old Russell Gray of St. Clair Shores.

When EMS crews arrived, Gray was declared dead at the scene.

Ernatt said Gray was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, although it is unclear whether that contributed to his death.

Police administered a Breathalyzer test, which showed Braasch had a blood alcohol content of 0.11. The legal limit in Michigan is 0.08.

Braasch allegedly told police that he and a friend were driving home from a bar in Lincoln Park. He reportedly said he was driving his friend home in his friend’s truck because that friend thought he was too drunk to drive. Neither Braasch nor his passenger were injured.

Braasch posted a $10,000 cash bond and was released under the condition he wear an alcohol tether. He’s due back in court on May 23.

Just over a month ago, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill into law that lets motorcyclists choose whether or not they want to wear a helmet. The law applies to Michiganders age 21 and up who have additional training and insurance. Read more, here.

Since the new law allowing motorcyclists to go without a helmet went into effect, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning says there have been 2 other fatal accidents.

All totaled, there have been 146 motorcycle accidents, 16 involved bikers who weren’t wearing helmets. There were five fatal motorcycle accidents and two of those five weren’t wearing helmets.

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