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Report: Saginaw man charged with murder after deadly drunken driving crash

A Saginaw man is facing murder charges after a crash that killed a couple south of Kalamazoo.
A Saginaw man is facing murder charges after a crash that killed a couple south of Kalamazoo.(Associated Press (custom credit) | AP)
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 12:53 PM EDT
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KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - A 27-year-old Saginaw man is facing two counts of murder after police say he was driving drunk and speeding when he killed an elderly couple south of Kalamazoo.

Ezra Phillips is facing two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of operating while intoxicated causing death and two counts of driving on a suspended, revoked or denied license causing death, according to WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids.

Michigan State Police say Phillips was driving a pickup truck south on U.S. 131 at WY Avenue in Kalamazoo County’s Schoolcraft Township on May 7 when he broadsided another vehicle. The crash killed 83-year-old Joel Shaffer and 84-year-old Delores Shaffer of Schoolcraft.

Investigators say Phillips was driving 115 mph in a 55 mph zone at one point before the crash. They estimate he was driving 84 mph when he slammed into the Shaffers’ vehicle.

Police say Phillips’ blood alcohol level was 0.167, which is more than twice the legal limit in Michigan.

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