GENEVA TOWNSHIP (AP) – A suspected drunk-driver has been charged with murder in the deaths of a woman and two young children killed when his pickup truck collided head-on with their car in southwestern Michigan, authorities said Thursday.
South Haven District Court Magistrate James Becker said 11 felony counts have been authorized against David Glen Johnson.
Van Buren County authorities have said Johnson is from Alabama, but a court filing lists his hometown as Grand Junction, Mich.
The 32-year-old faces three counts of second-degree murder, three counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death and five other counts.
Becker said he reviewed and signed off on the charges on Wednesday.
An arraignment hearing for Johnson hasn’t been scheduled, Becker said.
Brittney Renee King, 24, of Bangor, died in the crash along with two of her passengers, 2-year-old Kandice Berryhill and 4-year-old Cassadi Berryhill, both of South Haven. Another passenger in her car, the children’s father, Justin Berryhill, 24, of Grand Junction, was hospitalized in stable condition.
“They were just sweet. They were innocent. They had so much to give to the world,” Belinda Quinones, the children’s grandmother, told WOOD-TV. She said the children, their father and her niece, King, were headed home from having dinner at McDonald’s.
The children weren’t riding in child safety seats, the sheriff’s department said, and King and Justin Berryhill weren’t wearing seat belts. King’s driver’s license also was suspended, state records showed.
According to witnesses, the pickup truck driver was heading westbound and tried to pass a car in an oncoming lane when he collided head-on with the car driven by King. The truck then collided with the car he initially tried to pass.
Johnson also was hurt in the crash, which took place Tuesday in Geneva Township, 50 miles southwest of Grand Rapids.
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