FERNDALE (WWJ) – Police say a 27-year-old woman, now facing charges, had just left a downtown Ferndale bar at 2 a.m. when she drove into a group of people crossing Woodward Ave.
Wearing handcuffs and a Bob Seger t-shirt, Gina Marie Hovell of Gibralter appeared in 43rd District Court for an arraignment Tuesday on a charge of failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in serious impairment or death.
Police say Hovell got off work at around 10 p.m. last Friday and went to a local bar where she “ordered and consumed several drinks.” At closing time, police say Hovell went to her car parked in the Withington lot and drove onto Woodward where she apparently didn’t notice several people on foot in 9 Mile Road intersection.
A 30-year-old woman who was struck by Hovell’s car was taken to a local hospital with critical injuries.
Hovell didn’t stop at the scene, but police said a tip from a citizen who saw media coverage of the incident led them to Hovell.
Entering a plea of not guilty on Hovell’s behalf, defense attorney Robert Akouri offered this explanation:
“By the time my client came to realize that she may have somehow been involved with some sort of incident in Ferndale, she made contact with her parents and her parents and her were going to arrange to walk her into the police station that night — that being the day of the incident,” Akouri said.
“When they retained my services I said, ‘Unfortunately, I’m in Gaylord; I cannot be back until tomorrow morning. Please allow me the opportunity to walk you in.’ And I was arranging to walk her in, when at 4:30 in the morning the police arrived, and when the police arrived my client cooperated fully with the police.”
Police say Hovell, who works at Painting With a Twist in Ferndale, ditched her car in Farmington Hills following the incident, then got a ride to her parent’s house in Gibraltar.
She’s now free on a $25,000 cash/surety bond.
The victim, who police described as “touch and go,” remains hospitalized in critical condition.
Police said the crash was caught on security camera. An investigation is ongoing.