Swartz Creek teen charged in deadly, wrong-way crash - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Swartz Creek teen charged in deadly, wrong-way crash

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GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) -

(03/07/14) - Eighteen-year-old Zachary Parker, of Swartz Creek, has been charged with second-degree murder, and seven other counts, in the Feb. 9 wrong-way crash that killed a new bride and badly injured her husband and young son.

Thirty-five-year-old Mariah Bailey-Collins, the front seat passenger, from the Mt. Morris area, was killed. Her husband of just days, Bryan Collins, from Florida, was driving. Mariah's 11-year-old son was in the back seat.

Only ABC12 was there when 67th District Court Judge David Goggins authorized the warrant Friday morning. Parker is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter with a motor vehicle, operating while intoxicated causing death, reckless driving causing death, two counts of operating while intoxicated causing serious injury and two counts of reckless driving causing serious impairment of a body function.

Mundy Township Police Detective Mike Neering told Goggins that Parker's blood alcohol content was .197 when he struck the trio. That's more than twice the legal limit for someone 21 or older.

Police believe Parker entered northbound US-23, driving southbound, at the Grand Blanc Road ramp. That's about half of a mile away from where the deadly crash occurred, near the Torrey Road overpass, in Mundy Township.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton detailed what investigators think occurred in the hours leading up to it that Sunday night.

"At approximately 5 p.m., Mr. Parker met up with some friends who invited him back to Boulder Creek Apartments in Burton where one of them lived with his girlfriend," says Leyton.

Leyton says investigators believe they pooled some money and one of the people at the apartment, not Parker, but also underage, bought the booze, a half gallon of whiskey, at a store nearby.

"None of those drinking was legally old enough to buy alcohol."

Leyton says investigators believe, by 7 p.m., they were drinking the whiskey, drinking mostly shots and chasing them with pop.

"Our information is that by 10 p.m. the half gallon was mostly empty," he says.

About 10 minutes later, someone reported seeing a white, Chevrolet Impala on Grand Blanc Road making a wide turn onto the wrong ramp. 

Calls started coming into 911.

The crash was reported at 10:15 p.m.

"Drunk driving is a serious crime," Leyton says. "This is a harsh example of just how serious a crime it can be. A man lost his bride. A boy lost his mother."

Sneering says the child is out of the hospital, recovering from several broken bones and even had to have his jaw wired to fix some of the damage.

Goggins set bond at $240,000. Parker faces up to life in prison if convicted of the murder charge. His attorney says his family likely won't be able to bond him out right now.

"It's very tragic for everybody, both families," says Parker's attorney, Robert Larin. "I'm not saying it's equal, but it's a tragedy."

Parker's parents were in court for his arraignment, but declined comment through Larin.

None of the others, alleged to have been drinking with Parker before the crash, have been charged. No action has been taken against the store, or its employees, either.

"We've asked the local prosecutors to look at them under local ordinance," Leyton says. "We thought that was appropriate under the circumstances."

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